Saturday, August 4, 2012

Know Your Zone

U.S. Zone Map
What is a USDA Hardiness Zone Map and why is it an important tool to any gardener?  The map on the right is a simple breakdown of the current US zones.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture first published the zone map in 1960.  Based on a plants resilience and a zones climate the formulation is not without flaws.  The ever changing weather conditions have required several revisions, most recently just this year.  Still, it is a handy guide to comparing climates and determining what might be the most appropriate time to begin planting.  Example:  I live in the heart of heat and drought where Spring gardening is earlier than other regions.  The winters are also milder which tends to extend the duration of fall gardening.