2012 USDA Map Updated and Officially Released

gusolieJanuary 25, 2012

After a good generation of waiting...the USDA Hardiness Zone Map was finally released today with updated winter average annual temperatures.

The new, legitimate/official USDA map is based on temperature data from 1976 to 2005. The previous map, from 1990, only used temperature data from 1974 to 1986.

You'll see slight changes of hardiness zones across the Carolinas -- mainly a tiny shift northward across counties. Areas around southern Charleston, SC are now easing into Zone 9a.

Here is a link that might be useful: Official 2012 USDA Hardiness Zone Map

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Well, in spite of being listed in 7b, I cannot grow some of the things that they can grow in Raleigh and Chapel Hill. I am only two hours away but much colder.

We all have to deal with our own micro-climates, so I always tell people I have a "cold" 7a, based on my 10 years here. I am sure others will have similar experiences.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 9:23PM
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After 8 years near Greenville,NC I believe I am not 7b but instead 8a. Linda in Winterville

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Linda, the 2012 map clearly has Greenville, NC surrounded in 8a. Your hunch is verified.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Zone 7b was always 'next door' across the river but now I see the border shot up north... so I guess I'm firmly wedged into Zone 8a now. No complaints here. Makes it easier to leave more bulbs in the ground unless we get a cruel winter (like last year's! Phew...).

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 3:53AM
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pfmastin(8 N. Carolina)

I am also a Greenville resident with the same experience as lindanc...having plants winter over that had no business doing so. :) Now we know why!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 10:51PM
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coorscat(6 and 9)

I agree with microclimates. Where we are located, your altitude and exposure do more to determine your growing conditions than any map. Our temps average 10 degrees cooler than the valley year round.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:51PM
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We are in a micro climate where we are 7 -10 degrees cooler than our local weather station radar which is 2 miles as a crow flies.

I was experiencing cold burn and other issues on some plants and the local weather station would report above freezing.

Finally, I bought my own weather station and realized the temperature difference.

Even if my area is upgraded to zone 8A, I know my gardens will always be a 7.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 3:22PM
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