Gardening Basics #3: Plant Zones – What To Grow Where

Your geographic climate zone will determine which plants can thrive in your garden. The USDA publishes the most commonly used hardiness zone map, which divides the continental U.S. into 11 zones derived from the average annual minimum temperatures. You can find a copy of this map online, at a local library or university, or in gardening books.

Another good zone map comes from the editors of Sunset Magazine. They divided the United States and southern Canada into 45 climate zones, considering many variables such as area temperature extremes, humidity, rainfall, local topography, elevation, and even proximity to large bodies of water.

You can also just visit your neighborhood nursery. Nurseries want to offer plants that will thrive for their customers, not those that might fail. Your success is also their success, so they are unlikely to even carry plants that won’t do well in your zone.

Click the image to download the Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Gardening Basics is a nine part series outlining how you can get a healthy and beautiful garden the pure and natural way

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