I am just wondering what zone I am in? I live in Boston, MA Close to the water.
Enter your zip code and find out! Good luck!!
Here is a link that might be useful: What is my arborday.org hardiness zone?
It says i am in Zone 6-7. Thanks evonnestoryteller.
It gives me the same result, zone 6-7. Another reference at http://www.garden.org/zipzone/ gives me zone 6a. But most good gardeners in my town claim we're zone 5, maybe stretching to zone 6 in some years or if you have warmer microclimates.
This summer I bought a few little pots of dwarf mondo grass at Lowe's. The tag said zone 7, though some other references give zone 6. I'm curious to see whether it survives the winter. Of course even if it does, I imagine that if we get an especially cold winter in another year that they'll be toast. I'm crossing my fingers.
The map puts me in Zone 6. That is pretty correct for my area... most of the time we are a 6. This makes no difference for the little while we drop to a 5 though. I just plant for zone 5 and am careful about my zone 6 planting risks. :)
There is a lot of argument going on with the zones though. They were redone recently. Remember we used to have split zones such as 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, etc?
Here is the story:
Here is a link that might be useful: Updated USDA planting zone maps a hot topic
The map says I'm zone 6/7. That's make-believe. 5 marginally 6, but one bad week in winter of 0-20 degrees and any 6/7 plant would be mush. I read about the subtleties, but if the average gardener took that map at face value she'd be throwing a lot of money and labor away on half-hardy plants.
0 to 20 degrees is pretty nice if you are using F. Here are the temperatures for the zones. That is zone 7 if that is the lowest your temperatures go.
Zone 1: below -46 C (below -50 F)
Zone 2: -46 to -40 C (-50 to -40 F)
Zone 3: -40 to -34 C (-40 to -30 F)
Zone 4: -34 to -29 C (-30 to -20 F)
Zone 5: -29 to -23 C (-20 to -10 F)
Zone 6: -23 to -18 C (-10 to 0 F)
Zone 7: -18 to -12 C (0 to 10 F)
Zone 8: -12 to -7 C (10 to 20 F)
Zone 9: -7 to -1 C (20 to 30 F)
Zone 10: -1 to 4 C (30 to 40 F)
Zone 11: above 4 C (above 40 F)
The last couple of winters here, the lowest winter temps were 0 degrees F. This means a zone 7, and indeed last winter my Verbena bonariensis and a couple other annuals hardy to zone 7 overwintered for me. We also had persistent snow cover, which helps to insulate plants from temperature extremes.
Regardless what the zone maps say or temps do, I plant for zone 5 hardiness - because my gardens are exposed to brutal winter winds, and sometimes we don't have decent snow cover to insulate the plants.
(Idabean - if you're reading this - I did get your email,a few weeks back but when I replied it bounced back as undeliverable! Can you email from another account?)
The last couple of winters here, we had lows of around zero. It happens every now and then. However, the winter before that we hit -15Â°F. That happens every now and then also.
When the 'new' zone map came out a couple of years ago (for the first time) I did some research into where the data was coming from. I wanted to find the actual data, but the company providing the data wasn't providing that for free. They were providing lists of what data they had available for purchase. So I could see what weather stations locally had long enough data histories to be part of this. For both Dutchess and Columbia Co., NY, this worked out to 5 stations, of which 4 of them were close to the river, and in areas that had become very developed over the last ten years. Essentially suburban Hudson and Poughkeepsie. The two away from the river, in the eastern part of the counties would be the interesting data. Experienced gardeners from those parts have always described themselves are zone 4 - with the temperatures below -20Â°F to prove it. The new zone map says they are zone 6.
It's one thing to say that I'm zone 6, because strictly speaking from an average, I probably am. There are enough people saying rather loudly that it doesn't matter what the map says, plant for zone 5. However, when the map is off by 2 zones, that's harder to pick up.
Technically, in terms of the way the USDA hardiness zones are defined, a location within the city of Boston, close to the water, such as Logan Airport and surrounding areas, would be zone 7, because the temperature almost never drops below zero at the airport (maybe 1 below zero day every 5-10 years or so). But, I have never bought into these high zone designations in the northeast. Sure, areas near the water here gain their zone 7 designation because of the general paucity of below zero days. However, don't be fooled. Zone 7 on Cape Cod or coastal Boston is NOT the same as Zone 7 in the south. Down south, they might get 1 or 2 brief cold shots during the winter, when the temperature drops into the single numbers, but then the temperature will rapidly recover back to mild conditions. Up here however, the cold spells can be long and frequent, often with strong winds. So, the zone maps do not consider the duration and frequency of cold! To make the point clear, the temperature could drop to +1 degree F every morning during winter, but as long as it never goes below zero, the map would claim zone 7. But of course, no zone 7 or even zone 6 plant could withstand that sustained cold. So, I think it would be very useful for somebody to develop a hardiness map that considers not just the lowest temperature typically encountered in an area but also the frequency and duration of low temperatures, along with wind, and snow cover. With that rubric, coastal southern New England, would most certainly not be mapped in the same zone with areas in the south.
Thanks for clarifying what I said about "in my dreams" Lexington MA is zone 7.
Evonne, the link you provided, had more links at the bottom and one of them was an article by the owner of Plant Delights that went into detail about what effects plants that the zone maps don't take into account. I found it fascinating, so I link to that particular article, in case everyone missed it...
Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Hardiness and Mapping out a Strategy
According to that article the new maps were due in the beginning of 2008! :-0 Mayabe soon!
Here is a web friendly version of the 1990 Hardiness Zone Map. I noticed that it put me in the correct zone according to the way I garden: Zones 5b to 6a! You have to first click on the state and then look at the picture to see where you are located within the state. Then you compare colors on the key.
Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Hardiness Zone Map 1990
I received the McClure & Zimmerman catalog today. It has the Floradapt Hardiness Zone Map included on page 4. It is in very small print though but ok to use.
When people ask me what zone I am in, I always say 6 but borderline 5. I realize my planting success seems closer to zone 5 results, especially if we have a harsh winter with those nice ice storme we get. My observation of the Floradapt map is that it puts me right into zone 5.
Since I was interested, I looked up the info onlie about the map differences:
"Rutgers and Floradapt Plant Hardiness Maps
These maps are based on winter-cold isotherms. The Rutgers Plant Hardiness Map, Zones of the United States and Canada (Cook College, Rutgers, Martin Hall, P.O. Box 231, New Brunswick, NJ 08903; $7), has 26 zones based on absolute recorded minimum temperatures. To its credit, the Rutgers map divides the United States into 13 climates east of the 100th meridian, and 13 different ones west of it. Despite the usefulness of this map to gardeners, it's rarely used. Likewise the Floradapt Map (by John Sabuco and the White Oak Group, Inc., 320 202nd St., Chicago Heights, IL 60411). It is a 10-zone, USDA-like map of 10Â° F increments overlaid with lines and symbols that refine zone descriptions."
Perhaps from what people are saying here, it is a more useful map?
This site also mentions some different zone maps(the heat zone map for instance).
I cannot find a copy of the Floradapt or Rutgers map online, but it is nice to at least see the copy on page 4 of my gardening book. Three cheers for the catalog! :)
Here is a link that might be useful: Rutgers and Floradapt Plant Hardiness Maps Descrptions
One thing that threw me last year was the fact that they had changed Memorial Day to a week earlier. Wish I'd known! I ended up having to cover up all my seedlings to protect them from the frosts we had that week. It was then that I realized they had switched dates on me! Now my flowers will go out on May 31st (the traditional Memorial Day) never before!
We used to be 15-20 miles from zone 7B, in zone 8A. Now we are 15-20 miles from zone 8B, in zone 8A. Nothing changes, only our neighbours :-)