Thursday, February 2, 2012

Will The Change in Hardiness Zones Alter Your Garden Planning?

Like many Michigan gardeners the especially mild winter has raised hope for starting the garden early this year. The trouble is though, that I KNOW we're still likely to have a hard freeze, some snow and possibly a lot more winter. I was interested however when a friend on Michigan's west coast mentioned that her area changed planting zones. Did mine? So I set out to discover and answer to my query.
Gardeners throughout Michigan will notice a change in their planting zones in 2012.
Source: USDA Agricultural Research

Sure enough, my zone has changed from Zone 5 to Zone 6a. An altered planting zone...  What???  What does that mean?  What new plants can I add to my collection that I don't already have, or that I have been dreaming of... I don't know the answer to that just yet, but it is interesting to notice the shift in zones throughout the United States. Changing our hardiness zones is nothing new though, as recently as 2006 there was a big shift in hardiness zones from the 1990's.

So how will our gardens change? Will you try something new in your garden planning that you may not have been able to plant in years past? To find out your current USDA planting zone based upon zip code information, be sure to visit the USDA website.