Knowing your gardening zones and plant hardiness for each zone is very important to growing success because your planting zones are based on the average first and last frost date of a given area.
Once the dangers of frost have passed in your area, then it is time to plant. Check the planting zone map to determine which zone you live in and look for plants that will grow only in that gardening zone.
When you visit your nursery, or order online, a variety marked "Zones 3-8," for example, should grow and thrive in zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
However, you will also see that in some states, there can be more than 2 gardening zones.
Michigan, for example has 4 garden zones! Zones 3, 4, 5 and 6!
If you live in the British Isles, your garden zone will be mostly zone 8, except for London which is zone 9, Scotland which is zone 7 and the western and southern coastlines which are both zone 9.
If you live in Canada, there are 9 gardening zones, the harshest being 0 and the mildest is 8.
Well what do these numbers mean exactly?
Well, basically it shows the temperatures of the country where red is the warmest regions and blue is the coldest. However, this still doesn't really tell us what the average temperatures are for each planting zone. This is why, when you buy plants for your particular garden zone it may turn out that these plants don't do very well because the climate is not quite right for it to thrive.
In addition, in your own gardens, the surrounding buildings and trees can actually create a microclimate in your garden where you might be able to grow some plants that aren't usually grown in your area.
I have planted plants in my garden just 4 feet apart - same plants, same preparation, but one lot had more shade than the other, and the growth of each set of plants was woefully different.
Main Temperatures for Gardening Zones
So from from above table you can see that the higher zone numbers, the warmer the climate. It just takes into consideration the average high and low temperatures but does not take into consideration humidity levels.
What this temperature table for the various zones shows you is the minimum temperatures plants will tolerate in winter.
Buying plants and vegetables from your local nursery is one way to guarantee that you are buying plants that will do well in your area.
Other Resources of InterestGo from Gardening Zones back to Growing Vegetables
Go to Container Gardening
Go to Planting and Pruning Fruit Trees
Go to Growing Herbs
Go to Growing Herbs Indoors
Go to Self Sufficient Living
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