General

Working out my USDA zone

This morning I spent a while googling a few plants and many times the info was on a US site. While most of the info is good for me there is always the term ‘Good for hardiness 5b-9’ or whatever, and I would be all ‘huh?’

A quick explanation. The US is a big place and the climate varies a lot. Ok, yes… I know you all know this but I’m in full oratory mode now. So this is me… Monologuing. (My inner super-villain is cheering right now). The USDA hardiness zones were made up to help gardeners in the US know what climate they had in that region so bad choices of plants won’t happen so much.

A good idea in all, but what about us poor buggers not in the US that want to use your good ideas and info? Yeah, ok. We have the RHS site but that would limit me to one site… Not always a good idea when talking about esoteric stuff!

So I went to the Wikipedia page on it and then on to a couple of other sites and it appears that the majority of the UK is Zone 8 with a couple of areas being 7 (North Scotland) or 9 (South West coast/Ireland).

World Hardiness map

The above map is a very rough visual of the world made up to identify USDA zones. So if you ever see a site telling you a plant is good for a certain zone… Now you have at least a good idea if it’s good for you.
I wish the image was bigger but you can see it well enough. If you like you can look at this map (Big file!)

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2 thoughts on “Working out my USDA zone

    1. I didn’t even know what the USDA hardiness list was until last year. But it’s a simple case of average temperature over the year to give you a rating.
      If you look at that big map I linked to it has several ways to measure it. I guess other countries have done the same kind of thing.

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