New Zone Hardiness Map From USDA

Just about every major book or catalog for gardeners in the US includes a copy of the Zone Hardiness Map published by the USDA. This map is designed to tell you what the average winter low temperatures are in your area so – at least in theory – you will know what will grow in your garden and survive winter. Last week the USDA released a major update to this map. It can be viewed at:

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

One nice feature the USDA has added is the ability to submit your zip code (top left of the web page) and find your zone. Take a look and I think many of you will be surprised. Since the last map was published there have been some climate changes and the zones have shifted. Here in Fort worth I used to be on the line between 7b and 8a. Now I’m firmly in 8a (average winter lows 10-15 degrees F).

So “Hey baby, what’s your zone?” will soon be a hot pickup line at local nurseries.

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