For beginner gardeners a hardiness zone map is a indispensable tool for success. An experienced gardener will come to learn that we do not always grow in just hardiness zones, but in microclimates that we create both unintentionally and intentionally. Microclimate in urban areas may be a full hardiness zone warmer than rural areas just a few miles away. Urban areas tend to have less extreme low temperatures than the surrounding countryside. Buildings and paved surfaces absorb heat during the day, then radiate it back into the air at night, reducing the chances of frost and moderating low temperatures during winter. Buildings also offer protection from wind in many places. All of that considered please know that you are not always tethered to specific plants in those your zone. Example: If you are considered a Zone 3 and you reside in an Urban area you can grow Zone 4 and even some Zone 5 plants without to much trouble. To assist in that you will benefit form knowing that protecting these plants with a THICK layer of compost during the winter is recommended, and should be a part of your yearly practice when putting microclimate planted areas to bed. In the Spring, it will break down and feed the awakening roots very early on in the season, increasing its chances of returning to it former glory with vigor.
Click on the map for a pdf copy of your own. It will open in a new window so you do not have to navigate away from the site.
To assist your search, after you have discerned your zone, you can use the handy links right at the bottom of this page that will lead only display the plants you can grow in your zone. Easy!