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March 20, 2018  |  Login
Hardiness Zone
Hardiness zones are geographically classified areas which are used to determine what types of plants can be cultivated in a particular area. Hardiness zones are defined by their minimum average winter temperature. For instance, Des Moines, Iowa, lies within a 5a-classified zone, meaning its minimum average temperature is between -15 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit. This classification can be useful for anticipating growing conditions, but does not take into account many other factors like precipitation and snow cover.

If you grow your own fruits, vegetables or other plants, knowledge of your hardiness zone can be helpful information for determining what to grow. Remember that hardiness zones are only a starting point—areas in southern New Mexico, for instance, are in the same hardiness zone as some areas in coastal Virginia—and are not the only determining factor for a growth season.

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