Know Garden's Zone When Picking Plants

What zone is your landscape in? If you knew that, you might get a better understanding of what can grow in your yard.
You can figure out your landscape profile by using a number of plant-hardiness maps available to gardeners.
In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released an updated Plant Hardiness Zone Map that tells growers how cold it gets in their neighborhoods.
Some of the zones were adjusted to reflect new data that cover a 30-year period instead of a 13-year period.
Its online version also provides zone information that targets neighborhoods instead of larger regions.
While the map helps you figure out which plants might survive our winter, it's far from accurately depicting local growing conditions, maintains a gardening expert.
"If you look at the USDA map, we're in the same zone as some of coastal or Northern California," says Peter Warren, county extension director of Pima County Cooperative Extension.
"While we may have similar winter temperatures, there they don't get nearly as hot as we do and get way more rain than we do."
The cooperative extension, including its volunteer educators known as master gardeners, prefers to use the map in the Sunset Western Garden Book.
That map factors in other influences such as rainfall, humidity and geography.
Additionally, "Sunset has much more detailed maps of the western United States and Arizona," Warren says.

Read the rest of this article from the February 26 Arizona Daily Star:

Contact name: 
Peter Warren
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Released date: 
Feb 27 2012