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Global warming is changing the relationship between our garden plants and the climatic variables they face. Gardeners who have noticed some unusual goings-on in their yards had their suspicions confirmed this week when the US Dept.
Comparing the new 2012 map to the last map published in 1990 shows some significant shifts, especially across the Great Plains. While some gardeners may welcome the opportunity to experiment with new plants, these shifting zones caused by climate change can be problematic. Shifting plant hardiness zones also opens the door for harmful invasive species, pests and diseases.
Pests that used to be kept in check by hard winter freezes are also expanding their range northward. As guardians and stewards of our environment, gardeners can take many simple and thoughtful steps to work with nature to solve the challenges posed by global warming.
Media Contact: Mary Burnette, Burnette(at)nwf(dot)org, 703-438-6097 – to interview Patti Glick about the new hardiness zones and consequences for gardeners contact Mary. Reach out to the author: contact and available social following information is listed in the top-right of all news releases. Every gardener lives by the Plant Hardiness Zone Guide, so we thought we would take a fresh look at the best items to grow in your zone. Now that you’ve determines which zone you are in, you can have a better understanding of what to plant. Zone 1 and 2: most of your planting occurs in April to June, with lettuce and spinach in January to March.
Zone 5 to 6: Most of your planting occurs from April to June, with no planting in January through March.
For more information on the Plant Hardiness Zone Guide or to find your specific zone, go to the USDA website here.
Caution: Using your planting zone to determine your last frost date is a very inaccurate way of figuring out when it will be safe to plant your vegetable starts and seeds, and should not be relied upon. The USDA Hardiness Zones Map is a long standing and widely recognized measure of climate and seasons for planting zones throughout the United States.
Most recently revised in 2012, the Plant Hardiness Zones Map is now more specific than ever before, GIS based, and employs an impressive new algorithm to deliver highly specific local interactive information.
As you can see on the key for the 2012 Plant Hardiness Zone Map key, the planting zones are calculated based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature. Using the interactive map you can actually zoom in close enough to be able to select their own city or even small town.
By selecting a point on the map you can bring up a dialogue box containing the zone, average extreme minimum temperature, average extreme minimum temperature range, and exact, latitude and longitude for the selected location.
This edition of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM) is GIS (Geographic Information System)-based for the first time. Zones in this edition of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM) are based on 1976–2005 weather data.
The previous edition of the USDA PHZM, revised and published in 1990, was drawn from weather data for 1974–1986. Because this map was created digitally with GIS technology, it has a higher level of resolution and can show smaller areas of zone delineations than ever before.
Using the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map cannot ensure you will avoid all plant damage or loss of plants due to cold or severe weather, however it is a good guideline and because it is so well recognized, you can find the planting zone designations often listed in plant or seed catalog descriptions which can aid you in selecting the best varieties and most compatible plants for your growing region. Once you know your planting zone, the next important thing to know when planning a vegetable garden is your first and last frost date estimates.  Again these are not dates which can be exactly and infallibly predicted but they are good rough guidelines for when to expect the last frost in Spring and the first frost of the autumn. While some vegetables like peas, carrots, kale, spinach and chard, to name a few, can and indeed should be planted before the last frost date in Spring, most require frost free nights in order to avoid plant damage. Local County extension services will be a good source of first and last frost date, as well as the Farmer’s Almanac.
Determining the first and last frost date allows you to determine the number of days in your growing season. Once you have determined the plant hardiness zone for your area and first and last frost date, you are well equipped to begin selecting the vegetables you want to grow in your garden.
Additionally, you will see that most seed and plant catalogs offer early, mid and late season varieties of many different vegetables. Growing tomatoes in containers offers a convenient way to get around soil born tomato pests and achieve healthy tomatoes in spite of these challenges. Though the USDA cautions that not all the changes to the map can be attributed to climate change, it is clear that the major shifts are related to warmer temperatures. For example, the range of the red imported fire ant in the US has historically been limited by cold temperatures and winterkill. A USDA Hardiness Zone is a defined geographical area where a specific category of plant life is able to grow.



Even if you’re the most experienced gardener, it can be a good idea to take a new look at your zone and know what to plant and when to plant it. By calculating the lowest temperature that a plant can handle, you can have a better understanding of what to plant and when. Be sure to take special care to protect your crop after the fall season to ensure better growth into the coming years. Instead, use NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service page to look up your last frost date by city or name of region. According to NOAA’s table for Oregon, the chance of frost is less than 10% after April 15th. The higher the resolution of the map the more detailed the zone information becomes, so that areas which appear to be generally in, for example, planting zone 7a can be seen to be more specifically in planting zones 6a, 7a or 7b depending on their exact specific data for a location within the larger area.
A trial check did not find that the addition of more recent years of data made a significant difference in the definition of these zones. For example, cities tend to hold more heat because they have large amounts of concrete and blacktop, so a city or town may be assigned to a zone warmer than the surrounding countryside. Zones 12 and 13 have been introduced for regions with average annual extreme minimum temperatures above 50 degrees and 60 degrees F, respectively.
Last frost dates in April or May and first frost dates in October or November give you ample time to plant such long season crops as gourds, certain melons, and other long season vegetables. By knowing the length of your growing season, you can better select which varieties of which vegetables are best suited to your area. Plenty of people who grow tomatoes in the garden run into issues with tomato wilt, nematodes and other problems. The map confirms what many gardeners have already figured out about global warming and the impact it is having on plants. Now scientists project that the fire ant range could expand northward by about 80 miles and grow in total area by 21 percent as climate change makes new areas suitable for their survival.
The below USDA Planting Zones Map shows different planting zones around the United States of America.
There are 11 different zones that apply to the United States, with each region having more specific guides if needed. Do not trust any planting zone frost date chart which lists last frost date or date ranges per zone, as last frost date and zones are not specifically correlated.
But if you went with any of the popular last frost date by zone tables,  you might plant your seeds as early as March 15th. It enables viewers to examine plant hardiness zones at a much finer scale than ever before.
Each zone represents the mean extreme minimum temperature for an area, calculated from the lowest daily minimum temperature recorded for each of the years 1976–2005. Higher elevations tend to be colder than surrounding lower areas, so the top of a mountain may be an area of cooler zones.
Assuming you have a cool winter and a moist cooler garden spot available in summer, rhubarb is a perfect tasty perennial to add to your garden. Each zone is divided into sections and each zone represents an area of PLANT HARDINESS ZONES for the plants of agriculture in that specific area and also the natural landscape.
Planting zones are defined by minimum extreme temperatures, while last frost date depends on specific regional and micro-climate environments. For the first time, a very sophisticated algorithm was used to interpolate low-temperature values between actual weather reporting stations. This does not represent the coldest it has ever been or ever will be in an area, but it simply is the average of lowest winter temperatures for a given location for this time period. A location near a large body of unfrozen water may provide milder winter weather and be in a warmer zone.
But the additional frost-free zones will enable better definition of conditions for tropical and semitropical plants, which often serve as house or patio plants in many parts of the country.
This means that plants that wouldn’t have survived through winter in some regions just 20 years ago are now making it. Global warming is also welcoming unwanted pests like the black vine weevil, gypsy moth, bagworm and the mountain pine beetle.
Especially in today’s world of new climate extremes, you must pay attention to local indicators and weather forecasts and use frost protection strategies if you plan to push the envelope. The two new zones will provide a way to share information about differences in cold sensitivity of tropical ornamental plants and may help gardeners decide when to bring tropical plants indoors from a deck or patio as the temperature cools.
You can go one step further and turn it into a small greenhouse with PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
You can go even one step further and build an irrigation watering system with some PVC pipe. Aeroponics is the process of growing types of plants in an air or water mist environment without the use of soil.


Mix in a few types of high quality gardening soil and some organic seeds and you too can reap the benefits of fresh vegetables in your backyard. A cold frame is a low profile enclosed box that will act somewhat like a greenhouse and protect your outdoor garden plants from extreme weather. If you have room in your backyard you can build your own DIY raised vegetable garden for around $50 dollars! This type of garden is also referred to as a "Square foot garden" and can be built the exact same way. June 27, 2016 Washing Machine In Garage – Where Do I Let It Drain – Utility Sink, Standpipe, Sink Drain?
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