Spring planting tipsMarch 5th, 2012 at 11:43 am by Natalie Stoll under Weather
Already planning your spring garden? Knowing your hardiness zone can help you pick the plants that work best here in Central Texas. I’ve posted more from our partners at Earth Gauge below.
Earlier this year, the U.S Department of Agriculture introduced a new version of its Plant Hardiness Zone Map – a useful tool for gardeners and researchers that was last updated in 1990. The map divides the United States, including Puerto Rico, into 13 separate zones representing regions of minimum average winter temperatures. Each zone is a 10-degree Fahrenheit band that is further divided into five-degree half-zones. Zone boundaries in the new map have shifted in many parts of the United States and two new zones, 12 (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit) and 13 (60-70 degrees), have been added. The new map is generally one five-degree Fahrenheit half-zone warmer than the previous map throughout much of the United States, but some areas shifted to cooler zones rather than warmer ones.
The Plant Hardiness Zone Map can help the nearly 80 million gardeners in the United States prepare for spring. The South-Central and Southwestern parts of the country have challenges when it comes to gardening, including water scarcity and hot temperatures. Knowing your hardiness zone will help you use catalog and plant descriptions to choose garden plants that will thrive in the area where you live. Even if your zone has changed in the new map, the plants you have in your yard will most likely continue to thrive – but you may also be able to introduce some new plants to your garden.
Planning a vegetable garden? There are several types of vegetable seeds that can germinate at surprisingly cold temperatures.