March is finally here, which means that if you haven’t already got your gardening together, it’s a great time to start! It’s sometimes hard to think about spring and growing things when you’re still shoveling snow outside, but believe me–you’ll thank yourself later!
Whether you live in the South, where the cold months are likely nearing their end, or in the North, where you’ve still got a few months to go, it’s good to have an idea of when to get your garden going, and that’s what the map below is all about. I’m sure most of you already know this, but you won’t want to put your sprouts in the ground until the last frost is passed in order to protect the plants while they’re in their delicate sprouting stage, and that’s what the planting zone chart (also called a Plant Hardiness Chart) is for! This winter has been a little weird, but the map below should give you a starting point for when winter normally is ending.
To read it, find your state, figure out which zone you are in based on the color coding and the key at the top, then look at the chart on the bottom to figure out when your last frost is, and how cold your state normally gets.
I’m in zone 6, so I’ve still got a month or so before I’ll likely even consider starting my plants. But, I’m also a procrastinator, so maybe I’m not the best role model when it comes to such things. If you’re trying a new plant, most seed packets will come with guidelines for when to plant it on the back, but knowing which zone you’re in can be very helpful.
Have more questions about gardening and plants? Visit our forums and ask our awesome members for help. And just remember–there might be cold in the air, but spring is just around the corner!
I’m in 9a, and will dig in my fertilizer and compost this week and let it rest until mid-April. When I plant too early the seeds don’t sprout, and the birds feast on them when I’m not looking. – Margy