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How to Find Your Planting Zone

Identifying your plant hardiness zone is essential to your garden growing success. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map provides an informative view of average temperature trends across The United States and Canada. Zone Hardiness maps are based on the average yearly extremes for minimum temperatures in a given area.

These maps do not account for average peak temperatures in a particular zone. Understanding your gardening zone for plant hardiness can help you decide which plants to select for your garden and can mean the difference between a successful crop and a failing garden.

Family planting vegetable from backyard garden

Your geographic location and climate will affect how successful your flowers or plants will grow in your gardening areas. If you select plants that are only somewhat cold hardy for your particular zone, a harsh winter with well below average temperatures could lead to the demise of the plants.

It is important to note that USDA Plant Hardiness Zones are not entirely foolproof. Frequently, planting zones have micro-climates that occur within each geographical area. Unprotected areas of open land or areas of the ground that slope down into valleys can be more prone to frost and colder temperatures than higher elevations. On the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes temperatures can also soar higher than what the map claims they should be.

Insert your zip code to find your hardiness zone. *To zoom out of interactive map click home icon in the top left corner.

What is my Grow Zone?

Find out what your USDA Plant Hardiness Grow Zone is, and you will uncover what plants are likely to thrive in your location of the United States and Canada. The USDA Zone Hardiness Map is divided up into 13 planting zones. They are sectioned off by a 10-degree Fahrenheit differential for the average annual minimum temperatures. The larger the number is, the warmer the temperature is in the corresponding garden zone. For added clarity, zones are broken down into subsets of a and b, which represents a 5-degree differential in which a is colder than b is.

Look at the map and pinpoint your geographical location. The majority of the United States falls under USDA Planting Zones 4 through 8. Most garden centers label their plants with markers that signify a plant’s grow zone. If you are planning on purchasing a plant, tree, or shrub, you should cross-reference the plant with the zone for your region on the map to determine if it is a suitable growing environment where that plant will thrive.

In addition to identifying your hardiness zone, it can be helpful to reach out to your local garden center for additional guidance. They are experts in your community and your planting zone and can help you troubleshoot any further questions that you may have.

Family picking blueberries in the garden.

Other Factors that Affect Plant Growth

Purchasing seeds, dry root plants, and potted plants that are determined to be hardy for your zone will not guarantee that the plants will thrive in your garden. Plant Zones are not the only factors that determine plant hardiness and growth of plants. Sunlight, soil structure and pH, nutrient levels, water, and plant spacing also significantly impact the viability of plants.

Sunlight

When planting, consider the amount of sunlight that your garden receives each day. Some plants thrive well with a minimum of 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. While others prefer partial or full shade for its optimal growing conditions.

Soil Structure and pH

Soil structure and pH are crucial components to healthy plants. Soil consistency can vary from geographical region to region. It can even vary significantly within the bounds of your property. Different plants have different soil structure requirements and thrive best within a specific pH range. In addition to planting plants specific to your grow zone, it is essential to test your soil and amend it according to plant needs.

Kellogg Garden Organics

All Natural Raised Bed & Potting Mix

**Product not available in AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT. For a comparable product in these states click here.

Water

It is important to consider a plant’s water requirements before adding it to your garden. All plants require water to help them grow, but some plants are more drought-tolerant, while others require more regular watering to help them thrive. Know your plant’s requirements in conjunction with its USDA Grow Zone to ensure a successful crop.

Plant Spacing

All plants have different spacing requirements that can help ensure sufficient airflow. Such airflow helps to keep leaves dry and free from disease and allows plants to spread out to reach their full potential. If plants are too crowded together, their growth can be stunted due to nutrient drain, shadowing from other plants, and the development of fungus.


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56 Comments

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  1. I bought 8 bags of the All Natural Garden Soil for Flowers & Vegetables last weekend, planted some seeds and they are already sprouting!!! I will be getting more!!

    • That is wonderful to hear Janice, thank you for sharing! If you haven’t already make sure to grab some organic fertilizer. Your plants will lots of nutrients and minerals as they grow.

  2. I live in the most southern part of TX (usually very hot) I have been trying to garden for the past 3 yrs, with little success. I have raised beds, with good gardening soil ( so the bag says). My raised beds are dark in color, was wondering if maybe I should paint them white? Dorothy K.

    • Hi Dorothy! There could be a number of reasons you’re having some difficulties growing. Making sure what you want to grow is suitable to grow in your area, planting during the correct season, proper watering, sun exposure, and nutrients are essential. Feeding your soil is the step that most people miss in the growing process. Plants eat up a lot of nutrients from the soil so regularly adding those nutrients back in for the plants and the life in the soil is important. The color of your beds may not be the issue. We have a guide here https://www.kellogggarden.com/monthly-organic-gardening-ebook/ that walks you through what to plant and when. When you get access to that guide there are two more, one that walks you through companion planting and another that discusses container gardening. We have also have a getting started video series here that may help https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLblqvIbSXvLUUam8T2F5EbFHmZCgKPiBO

  3. Hi Kellogg,
    I am about to plant my patio vegetable garden in plastic containers about 12′ High. Should I line the bottom with stone for drainage control or just fill the containers with soil?? I will be using organic soil.
    Also, I will be entertaining an Asian friend for the Summer and Fall months. What vegetables would you suggest I grow to complement Asian quisine?

    • Hi Joseph! Well draining soil is beneficial to almost every plant, so adding in stones or twigs and sticks is great for the bottom of your pot. One of the reasons we add aged wood fines to our soil to help create pockets for good water and airflow. As far as vegetables for Asian cuisine, there are a lot that you could plant. Baby Pak Choi, radishes (there is a watermelon radish that is great), eggplant, peas, chives, Rosette Tatsoi Greens, Napa cabbage, cucumber. The list is long. Let us know if this helps. 😀

  4. I need help with determining when to plant my leggy seedlings. I live in rochester ny and I may have started the seeds a little early. I’m growing a variety of sunflowers, zinnias, a variety of tomatoes, cucumbers beans etc. I have a raised garden and planning on also planting in some pots mplease help, some of the young plants are dying.

    • Hi Kevin, seedlings get leggy when they are trying to reach the light. If you have a grow light you just need to bring them closer to the light, if you are growing next to a window then you might want to take them outside for a bit if it is warm enough. Tomatoes need a minimum soil temperature of 60°F, Beans 70°F, and cucumbers 65°F though they don’t germinate until the soil gets warmer. If your starts seem to be struggling more light and including some organic liquid fertilizer in your watering may help until the soil temperatures are ready for them.

  5. Spring lettuce is looking great. Have never had any luck with cabbage or Brussel Spouts, but I am trying again this year! Do you have any tips for me?

    • Hi Anita! What planting zone are you in? Are you growing in the ground, in a raised bed, or another type of container? And finally, What happens when you try to grow cabbage or Brussel sprouts? Do they start to grow and then wilt and die, are they overrun with pests, do the leaves show signs of disease or discoloration?

  6. Greetings from Turkey,
    I have been following your information and recomendations for a while. I am very new for planting. Thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge. This helps me to be more organized.
    Kindest regards,
    İlknur İçingir

  7. This is a wonderful resource and forum- thank you. I have a question, I am in zone 10b and I transplanted healthy winter seedlings grown from seed (broccoli,chard, kohlrabi, cauliflower, beans, cabbages, salad greens, etc several weeks ago and they seem to have stalled in my garden bed. They aren’t really growing. What could be the problem? I planted them with fresh compost and remulched the entire raised bed with broken down cypress juniper clippings.

    • Hi Susan, we are sorry to hear about your transplants. Adding the fresh compost for your transplants is great, they may also need a little boost of liquid fertilizer, using a seaweed, kelp, and molasses organic fertilizer can help get them past transplant shock and give them a nutrient kick. Watering and sun exposure can also play a factor, though you are growing cool-season vegetables that do not require as much sun as spring vegetables the more sun they get the faster and stronger they will grow.

  8. Hello, I have a polycarbonate clear greenhouse with raised beds. Right after I filled the beds with Kellogg’s raised bed soil, after a month, I developed mites, millions of them. It looked like the soil was moving. What could they be and how do I rig my beds of them. Right now, the beds are empty and I am turning the soil every so often and letting it bake in the winter sun.

    • Hi Richard, we hope you were able to get control of the mites. What you were doing is the first step and in most cases takes care of mites and gnats. If the sun exposure didn’t work we recommend reducing your watering and letting the top layer dry out between 1.0 to 2.0 inches. If bugs persist after 3 weeks, then supplementing it with diatomaceous earth can help. Both methods are organic.

    • Hi Stormy, we’re so sorry you’re experiencing issues using the zone map. If the popup is stopping you from using the map, please click in the black area and the popup will go away. If you’re still experiencing issues, please provide us with your zip code or city and state, and we’d be happy to help you determine your planting zone.

  9. Hi,
    I have recently moved from California, to Florida. Being a native of Northern California I have never had a problem with my garden. However……..Florida is very different, plants, soil, sun…….
    Would you please help me with finding my new zone?
    Palm Harbor, (Clearwater, St. Pete) On the peninsula near Tampa.
    Is it zone 13?

    Thanking you in advance,
    Nancy

    • Hi Doug, growing carrots can be tricky, however, there are a few things that can help ensure your carrot seeds sprout and grow successfully. Plant seeds 1/2″ deep and in rows that are 1″ apart. Carrot seeds need consistent moisture to germinate, therefore, we recommend planting them into pre-moistened, nutrient-rich soil that has been amended with lots of organic materials such as compost. After sowing, cover your seeds with a thin, 1/4″ layer of sifted soil. For more tips on growing and planting carrots check out this article: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/growing/how-to-grow-carrots/. Happy gardening!

  10. Just bought some bags of your planting mix as I plan my daughter’s garden here in the USA. The zone, the plants that thrive here and your products are all new to me, but the seeds are all germinating and the newly purchased and transplanted plants are absolutely loving it.

  11. That’s really a fabulous idea 💡 Thanks! We live in a downstairs apartment and have a dirt/pebble patio outdoors. This looks perfect to do!

    • Hi BJ, we’re so pleased to hear that you found this blog helpful. Community gardens are a great way to share your love of gardening with others. There is certainly something special about the camaraderie that comes with hanging out with other gardeners you know, sharing tips and advice, or swapping seeds. We think you may find this post on community gardens interesting and insightful: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/community/benefits-of-a-community-garden/. If there is not a community garden near you, we also recommend joining the Facebook group Organic Garden Nation, https://www.facebook.com/groups/organicgardennation/. It’s a great community where beginning to advanced gardeners share tips, ask questions, and help one another with their gardens. You may also be able to find local gardening groups on Facebook by searching. We hope you have a fantastic season, happy gardening!

  12. Hello we moved from Southern NV to Northern NV Reno and am looking forward to raised and container garden ! I see we are in zone 7A so will look for plants for the climate. Bit bummed out that Rosemary is not too happy up in Northern NV.
    Thank you I enjoy your emails !

    • Hi Virginia, you should have received an email today, April 16th, with a link to download the planting charts. On the download page, you will find vegetable, herb, and flower planting charts for zone 7. If you did not receive an email or have any questions, we’re more than happy to help.

    • Hi Gaile, dealing with critters in your yard and garden can be quite frustrating. We recommend planting deer-resistant plants such as Boxwood, Russian sage, ornamental grasses, black-eyed Susan, bellflower, catmint, ferns, iris, lamb’s ear, lupine, and salvia. Some great rabbit-resistant plants included allium, anise hyssop, bee balm, begonia, black-eyed Susan, catmint, chives, foxgloves, and oregano. We also recommend installing a deer fence and implementing other methods that can help deter deer and rabbits. Check out this blog post for tips on dealing with deer and keeping them out of your garden: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/insect-pest-control/top-5-best-ways-to-stop-deer-from-eating-plants/.

    • Hi Sue, unfortunately, our product will not be available in your area this year, but we are hopeful and looking forward to being available in your regional Home Depots next year. Thank you so much for your interest in our soil, we hope you have a great season!

  13. Every time I tried to input my zipcode to find my zone a pop-up kept coming up and blocking me from using the form. I was NOT able to determine
    my growing zone due to this annoying pop-up. Do you suppose you could fix that, please?

    • Hi, we’re so sorry you’re experiencing issues using the zone map. If the popup is stopping you from using the map, please click in the black area, and the popup will go away. If you’re still experiencing issues, please provide us with your zip code or city and state, and we’d be happy to help you determine your planting zone.

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