Do you get frustrated when your dream garden never materializes? It could be because you’re planting vegetables, flowers, and other plants that aren’t appropriate for your environment. Here are a few tools and pieces of information that will help you determine what to plant for a thriving garden.
The USDA Hardiness Zones Map, which was first created in 1990, is based on average annual minimum temperatures over a ten-year period. Basically, it tells you how cold it’s likely to get over the winter. Helpfully, most plants you’ll find in garden centers will come with information on which zones they are most likely to survive.
Cold weather is only half of the puzzle. You also need to know how hot your region tends to get. The American Horticultural Society created their own zoning system based on the average number of days each year that a region experiences temperatures above 86 degrees.
Knowing the general minimum and maximum temperatures in your region will help you stay away from plants that are clearly unsuitable for your area, but keep in mind that every garden is different. If a plant typically thrives in climates warmer than yours, placing it on the south side of your garden, where it can get plenty of sunlight, could make a difference.