Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009...12:00 am

Determining Your Hardiness Temperature Zone

Hardiness Temperature Zones

Hardiness Temperature Zones

TheGardenLady received this question from August.

I live in Mount Laurel, NJ.  I see many garden care articles related to zone. What zone am I in?

Depending on the hardiness temperature zone map you use, Mount Laurel, New Jersey is either in hardiness temperature zone 6b which has a low in the winter of -5 degrees or is in the warmer zone 7 which has a low in the winter of 0 degrees.  I believe Mt. Laurel is zone 7 as reported in the Arbor Day Foundation site,  where you can type in your zip code and your hardiness temperature zone will be shown. The United States National Arboretum site lists Mt. Laurel, NJ in the lower zone 6b.

Anyone who wants to check out their plant hardiness temperature zones should google up the Arbor Day Foundation website or the United States National Arboretum website. Both websites have lots of other information besides your hardiness zone. For example, check out the information on any tree you might want to plant on the Arbor Day Foundation website or the United States National Arboretum has a Gardening Question & Answer section.

The hardiness temperature zone is the overall temperature zone in your area. Most plants will grow in a fairly wide range of temperature zones. For example, hosta plants are hardy in U.S.D.A. Zones 3 to 9. You can feel assured that most plants the labels say will grow in your temperature zone will grow on your property. And most nurseries in your area will carry plants that will be happy growing in your area.

However, your property might have some microclimates on it. What is a microclimate? “A microclimate is the cliate of a small area that is different from the area around it. It may be warmer or colder, wetter or drier, or more or less prone to frosts.” (see here)  You might have a wet area on your property or an area that is surrounded by a stone wall. These areas can change the temperature zone in those specific areas. If you want to try planting a plant that you fear might be delicate in your area such as rosemary which grows in a warm zone 7, plant it near a wall provided it is on the sunny side of the wall and water doesn’t puddle near the wall. Rosemary likes sun and drier conditions like California has. One nursery, Triple Oaks Nursery in your area is trying to see what exotic plants can be grown in your temperature zone. They have a show garden of various warm area zone plants that seem to be growing happily.

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