Know Your Growing Zone
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Get to Know
Your Growing Zone

Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones

Determining your plant hardiness zone is an essential first step in gardening. The zone map identifies plants that are suitable for your area based on average temperature and climate conditions. Choosing incompatible plants can lead to frustration, such as growing citrus trees in climates with harsh winters and mild summers, which may yield poor results.

Using Your Growing Zone to Determine Planting Timing

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from gardeners is, "Is it still possible to plant a particular vegetable, and how can I tell?" Several factors influence whether there is enough time to grow a certain crop, and we have simplified the process to help you figure it out.

To determine whether you have enough time to plant a specific crop, follow these five steps:

Step 1

Find Your Gardening Zone

Identify your growing zone to learn more about the climate and which vegetables will thrive in your area.

Step 2

Determine Your First and Last Frost Dates

Refer to the chart below to find your zone's first and last frost dates.

Step 3

Check Your Seed Packet

Review the seed packet to determine the maturity date for the variety you wish to plant.

Step 4

Cross-Reference Maturity Dates and Frost Dates

Use your first and last frost dates and maturity date to determine whether your crop has enough time to grow and mature.

Step 5

Allow for Variations

Keep in mind that the average frost dates may have a two-week window of variation due to unpredictable weather. Give yourself some wiggle room in your planning.

Zone Last Spring Frost First Fall Frost
1 May 22 – June 4 August 25 - 31
2 May 15 - 22 September 1 - 8
3 May 1 - 16 September 8 - 15
4 April 24 – May 12 September 21 – October 7
5 April 7 - 30 October 13 – October 21
6 April 1 - 21 October 17 - 31
7 March 22 – April 3 October 29 – November 15
8 March 13 - 28 November 7 - 28
9 February 6 - 28 November 25 – December 13
10 - 13 No frost No frost

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth it to grow your own vegetables?

The short answer is ABSOLUTELY! Growing your own food can have substantial benefits including saving money on fresh produce, helping the environment, and knowing that your produce is truly safe.

How does gardening help the environment?

Growing your own fruits and vegetables can improve the environment by helping to reduce carbon emissions from the import of commercially grown produce. By growing your own food, you also control the pesticides and fertilizers used in your garden and help greatly reduce the potentially harmful chemicals used by commercial growers.

How do I start a vegetable garden?

Starting your vegetable garden can be as simple as you’d like it to be. HOSS Study Hall has all the resources you need for beginners and veterans, alike. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Just submit your questions below or contact customer service and we will answer whatever questions you have.