Find Your Growing Zone – Map & Interactive Search Tool

How Plant Hardiness Zones Work

For novice and advanced gardeners alike, the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is a useful tool for planning a garden.

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (see below) is a color coded map of the U.S. that breaks the country into color coded zones based on average low temperature readings. The zones are then used to rate plants based on their hardiness. Plants are typically labeled “hardy to zone X”, allowing gardeners to quickly and easily identify which plants are capable of growing in their area. If they’re not labeled, a quick Google search is always helpful.

Example Use: A perennial plant labeled “hardy to zone 10” can survive in a minimum temperature of 30°F (Zone 10 expects temperatures never below 30°F), while a plant labeled “hardy to zone 6” can tolerate a minimum temperature of -10°F (Zone 6 expects temperatures never below -10°F).

 


Find Your Growing Zone Below!

Simply enter your zip code into planting zone finder below or reference the color coded growing zones map below!

Growing Zones Planting Zones USA Map

 

 

Using Growing Zones For Vegetable Gardening

Besides perennials, growing zones (aka planting zones) can be used to plan a vegetable garden. Your zone initially tells you the lowest expected temperature for your area, but that growing zone number also correlates to an average first and last frost date.

  

Reference this amazing first and last frost date guide from The Spruce.

Cold Tolerant Vegetables  

Frost/Freezes will kill many garden vegetables, but there are a variety that can survive. Here are 13 cold tolerant vegetable options and here are more that are also fast growing options.

Some zones have very short viable growing seasons. Some of the coldest areas in Montana, for example, have a growing season that is only 55 days long (give or take based on Mother Nature’s kindness). For gardeners in areas like this, it is usually best to start seeds indoors and then move them outdoors as seedlings when your season permits.

 

Handling Early or Late Arriving Freezing Temps

It’s important to keep in mind that a growing zones low temperatures and their first and last frost dates are a general guide. Frost/freezes can happen before or after the above date ranges. Fortunately, if a cold-front is heading to your town you can mitigate the potential damage to your plants by the chilly weather. Here are some helpful resources:

 Garden Frost Protection Tips

 How to Build A Simple Greenhouse for Your Garden in Minutes


Let’s Use This Info and Look at Our Home State of Florida:  

Florida Growing Zones

For those of you like us, living in Florida, we experience growing zones 8-10 with some of the Keys falling into 11. Overall, the bulk of the state is broken into three distinct areas: north, central and south Florida. Zones 8-10 can expect their coldest temperatures to range from 10°F-40°F (the colder end of that spectrum for the lower zone number).

How These Zones Effect Gardening in Florida

Central Florida and south will find winter to be a suitable time to grow cold-hardy plants (here are cold-hardy plant options to try). Northern Florida, while you can grow a few cold tolerant vegetables during winter such as kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, temperatures can drop into the teens which is tough for even the most frost tolerant plants. Unsurprisingly, December, January and February are the months that pose frost risk for most of Florida.

 

Planning a Garden: Find your Florida growing zone

 

That’s it! Let us know if you have any questions below. And, when gardening remember that proper seed spacing is a must. When you start your garden, reference our all-in-one Plant Spacing Guide for Raised Bed Gardening to help you along.


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