Sunday, April 01, 2012

What is Your Zone? Weather Hardiness Zones Moved.

The United States Department of Agriculture developed "hardiness zones" during the 1920s and 1930s to help farmers select plants that would grow in their region, A new map was developed in 1990, but covered limited yeasr and did not cover all data collected.
1990 Weather Hardiness Zone Map

Th3 2012 map is based on average minimum temperatures collected over a 30-year period. The map is used by both backyard gardeners and large operating growers so they can determine which plants will grow and thrive in their area

2012 Plant Hardiness Zone Maps

Comparing the new 2012 map to the last map USDA published in 1990, shows significant shifts, especially across the Great Plains.  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.

Most of the zones have moved northward 50 miles.  That is an awesome shift for 10-12 years. While this means a longer growing season in some areas, it also means that pests, like kudzu and fire ants, are moving northward, too.  So, if you see a new plant or pest you do not recognize, take it to the county extension agent or a specialist at a local university. This will help stop the spread of invasive species.

Below, you may input your zip code to find out in seconds in which Hardiness Zone you live. No data is collected by Endangered Spaces or the Arborday Organization.

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