Friday, January 27, 2012

I have a new USDA hardiness zone

That might not sound like a big deal. Or maybe it does depending on whether or not you're an avid gardener. (If you're really interested you can find out if you do too by checking your zip code on the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map Website and read the USDA's news release about it here.) The new map looks like this.

Pretty, huh? I'm such that's not what they had in mind, but it is. I really like the color gradient on the map.Wouldn't it make great gardening inspired wall art? I totally think so.

Here's a close-up of Kansas.

Where I live was Zone 5b (the aqua color) based on the 1990 map and now it's 6a (the darker green).

What does that actually mean? It means that based on weather data for the last 30 years (1976-2005 to be exact, the average minimum temperature in my area is slightly warmer than it was from 1974-1986 (the dates they used to produce the 1990 map).

It also means that I could theoretically plant plants which can handle temperatures down to -10 F, but can't quite hack -15 with a reasonable expectation of their survival. So far, I've found that means I now have the opportunity to plant lesser Calamint, Colewort, Crocosmia, Lavender Cotton, and Leadwort. There are also some plants that need the amount of cold weather expected in Zone 5 to thrive. Those might not do so well. It could also mean that it gets a little too hot for some plants that are zone 5 although hardiness zones are only reflective of cold tolerance so they don't necessarily tell you about heat tolerance.

Fascinating, huh?


  1. Hi! I ended up here a long time ago from Ana's website! I am digging your garden/color gradient/art idea! I wish we had a garden too, oh and I'm in 7a.

    Crystal :)

  2. Thanks Crystal! I still check out Ana's site every day. I'm thinking about creating a project to guest post there. Any suggestions/requests?

    I'm seriously thinking about the garden art. Like maybe a decoupage one with different patterns of scrapbook paper? Maybe in a huge wall map size? What do you think?

  3. This is me visiting your blog and catching up on all things domestic. I realize that you made an arrow pointing at the word "Manhattan" but that arrow doesn't actually point anywhere near where Manhattan is, you're somewhere over in Pottawatomie. <3

  4. Actually I take that back, I'm an idiot. You're pretty damn close.



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