Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gardening Zones - How to Identify the Plants That Grow Well in Your Area

Gardening Zones - How to Identify the Plants That Grow Well in Your Area

In order to grow plants successfully, gardeners must choose plants that belong to their gardening zone.

The majority of plants found in local nurseries are often compatible with the gardening zone they are sold in.

Seeds, bulbs and seedlings ordered through catalogs are tagged to let gardeners know what zones they thrive in the best.

These zones are identified depending on the overall climatic condition of the region as well as the minimum temperature recorded in that area.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) gardening zone map is based on the lowest temperature experienced throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

There are 11 gardening zones with zone 1 being the coldest and zone 11, the warmest.

It was first released in the 1960s and has since then been subject to multiple revisions.

The current map used by the USDA is based on changes done in 1990. In the map, zones 2 to 9 are subdivided into two sections (a and b) represented by lighter (a) and darker (b) shades.

Each section represents a 5 degree Fahrenheit difference in each zone with the lighter shade being colder.

A state can fall into multiple zones. Alaska, for example, is divided between zones 1, 2a, 2b, and 3a. Florida is another state that has multiple zones. The state starts at zone 8b and ends at 10b.

The warmest regions in the United States fall under zone 11. Hawaii falls into this zone.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) was the first to develop hardiness zones, but they have since been adapted elsewhere.

Using the right plants in the right gardening zone helps ensure success. Zone maps can be found in local libraries and bookstores.

Gardening supply stores and nurseries are also a good resource.

An online version is posted at the US National Arboretum website.

Tim Warren is an experienced vegetable gardener who has taught beginners vegetable garden planning in the past 20 years.

His latest book, "The Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardening", is available from his gardening website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tim_R_Warren

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