Gardening is an experience that can be rewarding and fulfilling. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned green thumb, learning to plant within your specific USDA plant hardiness zone is the first step towards successful gardening. By understanding factors such as climate patterns, sunlight conditions, soil fertility, and more for your area, you will be better equipped to choose plants that flourish in their environment.
Find your USDA hardiness zone
Finding your USDA plant hardiness zone is easy! The USDA has an interactive GIS-based map that is easy to use: type in your home address or ZIP code and find the corresponding color on the Plant Hardiness Zone Map Imagery.
For example, our headquarters in O’Fallon, Missouri, is in Zone 6A. This means plants native or naturalized to that zone can withstand chilled temperatures of -10 to -5 degrees Fahrenheit during an average year.
Read planting instructions
A wise decision when planting a garden is to research your plants’ hardiness zone before buying. It’s important to ensure that the plant is suited to your climate, as this will affect its growth potential and ability to survive against the elements. Checking a plant’s label can give you an idea of what conditions it needs. A plant classified as being for Zone 4 will not thrive in Zone 8.
When possible, go native
For the best results when gardening, choose native plants. Native plants are well adapted to the climate and soil characteristics of their original habitats, which makes them much hardier and more likely to thrive in your garden. These plants will not only have greater resistance to local pests and diseases but also provide important food sources for native wildlife such as birds, bees, and butterflies.
Compost and mulch from Hansen’s Tree Service
If you’re looking for a simple way to keep your plants in top condition, look no further than organic mulch and compost from Hansen’s Tree Service. Not only does it provide important nutrition and aid with water retention, but using it can also help your garden thrive thanks to its natural defense against weeds, drought, heat, and cold.