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  #1  
Old 08-21-2005, 08:28 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,623
Tip Of The Day - 8/21/05 - Hardiness Zones

Found this and thought it would be a good "tip"

Probably the most important consideration in determining what garden and landscape plants you can grow is whether or not they will survive the climate in your area.

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map factors in average winter minimum temperatures. This collection of information starts with Zone 1, where minimum temperatures can go down to MINUS 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and ranges to Zone 11, for the lucky gardeners in Hawaii and extreme Southern Florida where lows don't drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The data on which the USDA map is based was gathered over a period of 60 years.

(First number on left is zone, number to right is temperature in farenheit)

1 Below -50 F
2a -50 to -45 F
2b -45 to -40 F
3a -40 to -35 F
3b -35 to -30 F
4a -30 to -25 F
4b -25 to -20 F
5a -20 to -15 F
5b -15 to -10 F
6a -10 to -5 F
6b -5 to 0 F
7a 0 to 5 F
7b 5 to 10 F
8a 10 to 15 F
8b 15 to 20 F
9a 20 to 25 F
9b 25 to 30 F
10a 30 to 35 F
10b 35 to 40 F
11 above 40 F
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2005, 10:10 PM
Guthrie&Co Guthrie&Co is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: nc
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sometimes i will go a zone less to protect yourself from winterburn is it is questionable on the shrubbery selection
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2005, 05:42 PM
timturf timturf is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central virgina, transition, plant hardy zone 7a, and heat index zone 7
Posts: 1,526
ALSO very important to consider the heat index zones for your plants!
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2005, 05:00 PM
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Critical Care Critical Care is offline
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Location: Central Oregon
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The Sunset Gardening Books are often considered to be the bibles for gardening and plant information. These books however use their own plant hardiness scale, but along with detailed zone maps - some very specific to certain areas - they mention the pros and cons for each zone, which plants do well, and which ones don't.

Microclimates also play a big role in choosing the right plant for the right area. For example, there's a large difference between where I live and where people live just a few miles to the north... though the USDA zone will show us as being in the same zone. Consider your microclimate to be your "fine tuning".
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2005, 01:22 PM
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sheshovel sheshovel is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: zone 7 CA
Posts: 5,120
Critical Care is correct,Sunset's Western and Eastern Garden Books break down the states hardiness zones much more specifically than USDA zones do.
Sunset developed the Heat Index Zones.
The USDA zones were developed for farming not for ornamental gardening they are much too general and don't have a Heat Index Zone at all.
Sunset Western Garden Book
Sunset Eastern Garden Book
Are THE best to go by because most ornamental nurserys and growers tag their plants using those zones and not USDA zones...at least here in the western states they do.
The best Encyclopedia of Plants though in my opinion is
The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants /Millinium Limited Edition.
It has over 6000 pics and 15,000 Plant descriptions and cultivation descriptions for each.What kind of sun/shade and soil they need.If you make your living planting ornamentals(plants,tree's,shrubs ect)I strongly recommend you invest in this wonderfull book.It will blow your mind!It also uses the same zones Sunset does.
Now some older books still use the USDA zones including old Sunset books so Keep your eye out if you use an old gardening book.
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2005, 12:26 PM
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Critical Care Critical Care is offline
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Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 1,654
I was just glancing at my Sunset book and it has a chapter in it stating how the USDA climatic zones are based, which is upon winter minimum temperatures. Sunset uses this information, the information that Timturf mentioned (the American Horticultural Society heat zone system), elevation, humidity, rainfall, and other factors to come up with their rating. Over the years Sunset has gotten more detailed, especially in some areas, breaking down zones into subzones, etc. Hopefully they keep at it because I'd like to see some of the colder zones, such as mine, detailed a bit more.
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