Planting Zones in the US

Plant cultivation of any type takes proper planning and research to discover what’s best for your crops. This includes taking into account your location. Where you live has huge environmental impact over plant cultivation, as your specific environment will influence lighting, temperature, moisture, and overall the ability to grow the foliage you want. But, how can you determine all of these things based on where you live?

Thankfully, that’s where planting zones come in. These specific zones make the cultivation process worlds easier to navigate, helping growers of all experience levels understand their climate even a little bit better. If you’re confused, don’t worry! Today, Luna Cultivation is talking all about plant zones in the US and how they’ll benefit your future harvests.

What are Planting Zones and What Do They Measure?

To help measure the necessary environmental factors needed for proper plant cultivation, farmers have divided the US into 13 planting zones. By combining information from the USDA, these planting zones are able to consider:

  • Altitude

  • Average atmospheric temperature

  • Average number of sunny days

  • Average rainfall

  • Average soil texture

  • Biome

  • Common gasses

  • The growing season

  • The plant season

  • Plant hardiness

From there, all of this data is used to determine the “growability” of certain plants across the continental US. By understanding your own planting zone, you’re able to have a better relationship with your plants, knowing which ones can thrive in your environment and which ones are better off elsewhere.

Plant zones can help you consider integral factors like lighting from a whole new perspective. Even though you may think you live in a typically sunny place, your planting zone may reveal that your plants require more lighting or sunlight exposure than you’re currently providing. The same goes for temperature and moisture.

So, what are the types of planting zones, and what can you grow within them?

The Types of Zones

As we mentioned, there are currently 13 planting zones across the US, each zone producing slightly different environmental results. However, for clarity’s sake, we’ve bunched each zone by three to help you give you a good idea as to what you can expect from these planting zones.

Zones 1-3

Planting zones 1-3 are going to be the coldest zones in the United States. Primarily, these planting zones are found throughout Alaska, and most plants are not going to be fit to grow in -50℉ weather. However, there still are some types of foliage that thrive in these extreme conditions.

Typically, because these zones aren’t exposed to much light and are often afflicted by freezing temperatures, you can rely on growing only drought-friendly and cold-tolerant crops. These will be vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale, as well as fruit trees like Fall Red apple and Pembina plum. Whatever you’re trying to grow in these zones, make sure your plants are hardy enough to survive such harsh climates.

Zones 4-6

Warming up just a little bit are zones 4-6. Planting zone 4 is still considered quite cold, with an average temperature of between -30 to -20℉. Zones 4 and 5 will be found across Alaska and the Northern US, where you’re used to harsh winters and darker, longer days.