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What is your USDA plant hardiness zone?

Oct 26, 2011 -
   
  What is your USDA plant hardiness zone?
Click the link below to "find yourself". Map courtesy of the USDA.
 
   

How can I find my USDA plant hardiness zone?

Click on THIS LINK for the new 2012 USDA plant hardiness zone map. You can search it by zip code.

Do you live in an area (like Nevada County) with varied terrain and varied USDA zones within one zipcode? Call your local Master Gardeners for expert guidance in establishing the USDA zone for your property.

Here’s a list of the national Master Gardener programs. For Californians, try this list of Master Gardeners by county.

In our new video Tricia explains that knowing your zone is the first step in choosing the right fruit tree for your land. This is true for most of the plants and trees in your garden.

What are plant hardiness zones?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sorts the whole country into plant hardiness zones. The national map shows gradations of the average minimum temperatures, based on decades of weather records.

For instance, your winter weather might hover around 36F at night, but if cold snaps drop it to 28F the lowest number is the one the USDA factors in. Worst-case scenarios are what they cover.

Why is the weather for zone 7b in California so different from zone 7b in North Carolina?

The USDA zones are only about low temperatures. Other climate differences between California and North Carolina (such as humidity, rainfall during the summer, and highest temperatures) are not considered.


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Betty Yuill Says:
Nov 2nd, 2011 at 6:55 am

The zone map is incorrect for my area. I live in Bloomington,CA and it has me as zone 8b…..our temps are never ever down to 15 degreees. We are more like what is zone 10a where Victorville is. But that is incorrect for them also as they are high desert and get snow whereas we don’t. They are probably more like a 9a or 8b. I suppose it varies area by area depending on microclimates. Our zone is classified with the coastal area which is much cooler than we are here. A few miles can make a difference down here with hills to account for. I work in Riverside and watch my temp gauge on my way to work…not long ago there was a 16 degree difference due to Santa Ana condition and the hills that blocked it.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Nov 2nd, 2011 at 10:39 am

Betty, You are so right on the microclimate issue! You said, “I suppose it varies area by area depending on microclimates. Our zone is classified with the coastal area which is much cooler than we are here. A few miles can make a difference down here with hills to account for” and the coast and the hills lead to lots of variations.

Keeping our own garden temperature records helps a great deal, and local Master Gardener groups often have the low temps mapped by topography if your area is not consistent and easy for the USDA to describe with its map.

Marija Petrauskas Says:
Jan 30th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

zip code is 60613

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Sep 9th, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Marija, The USDA map says you are Zone 5B.

Nancy Says:
Sep 23rd, 2012 at 9:32 am

zip code is 95616

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Sep 23rd, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Nancy, The USDA map says you are Zone 9B.

Fran Ransley Says:
Oct 7th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I was blocked from entering my zip code on this map. But anyway, there are so many microclimates in foothill areas that these generalized maps are not worth much. I live down in the bottom of a frost pocket. 1/4 mile away on the hillside, my neighbor can plant way before I can, and grow stuff that would freeze to mush at my place.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:53 am

Fran, Sorry you are blocked by the map! It is working fine from my computer. As you say, though, the foothills microclimates are so varied. In Nevada County our Master Gardeners have a detailed map in the Western Nevada County Gardening Guide—but a few years of experience on a piece of land is the best info of all.

Page Gorham Says:
Mar 14th, 2013 at 11:52 am

My zip code is 97701.  I wanted to know if I could grow asparagus here in this zone.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Mar 27th, 2013 at 10:41 am

Page, Looks like you are just east of the Cascade Range, so you should have no problem growing asparagus.  Two items that can be a problem there are soil saturation (be sure soil is loose and light) and gophers.

Pam Says:
Apr 2nd, 2013 at 7:02 am

My zip code is 93544 I am a beginner please help zone then chill factor Thank You

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Apr 4th, 2013 at 10:43 am

Pam, Welcome to the gardening world! You are in USDA Zone 9a. Chill hours are something you should ask your local Master Gardeners. I do not know your county so cannot research that for you. Here is an article with links to help you search for your chill hours http://groworganic.com/organic-gardening/articles/chill-hours-what-are-they-how-do-i-count-them-and-why-do-my-fruit-trees-car

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