Planting Zones are based on location and climate. Within North America alone there are eleven planting zones.
The zones are graded on a scale based on temperature. For example Hawaii is in Zone eleven because it is in the hottest area. Each zone is based on the average lowest temperature in the area. Again using zone eleven as an example the average lowest temperature is 40 degree above zero.
On the opposite end of the planting zones is zone one. It is time to get the jacket and boots on. The average low temperature in zone one is a bone chilling minus fifty below zero Fahrenheit.
As you can see the planting zones vary dramatically across North America. The intention of the Zone map is to give gardeners and farmers a basic guide to what plants they can successfully grow.
On a large majority of plants and seeds that you buy you will find a suggested minimum and maximum zone you can successfully grow the given plant in. By following the suggested planting methods and also planting only suggested plants for your zone a gardener can expect a reasonable amount of success with their crops.
The planting zones are only a guideline. Some people have suggested going to another system because the Hardiness zone does not take into consideration humidity, length of day and different types of soils in each area.
So how do you find out what Planting Zone you live in? The easiest way to find this information is to enter Planting zones or hardiness zones and your zip code into your favorite search engine.
If this is a problem you can also go to your local library or local cooperative agricultural extension. The coop can tell you your zone and also give you some tips for what grows well in the area.
If you find a plant you must grow please do not stretch you zone more then one level below your zone. For example you have a Fig tree that will only grow in Zone eight or above, if you live in zone seven you can attempt to grow the tree. If you live in planting zone six you would probably be wasting your time and money with the Fig tree.
Joseph Paige © 2006