My Garden Has Moved

Plopper's Field, now in a zone 6a garden
My garden has moved... sort of.

When the new USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map came out earlier today, I dutifully entered my zip code and discovered, as I suspected might be the case, that my garden has moved.

It has moved from zone 5b to zone 6a.

What does this move mean?

No longer will I start my Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts with "here in my zone 5b garden".

Instead, I'll say "here in my zone 6a garden".

No longer will I say "oh, shoot" when I see that a plant is only hardy to zone 6.

Instead, I'll say, "Hmmm, maybe I'll try that in my garden".

Well, truth be told, if I really wanted a plant before this new map came out, and the plant was listed as only hardy to zone 6, I might have tried it in the past and hoped for the best. Now I'll just be trying it with perhaps a bit more confidence that it won't die off in the winter and plan for the best. 

But otherwise, not much has changed.  Admittedly, zone 5b is just a few miles, maybe 20 miles, north of me, so I don't feel like I am solidly in zone 6a.  I feel like I am just provisionally in zone 6a until I try a few more zone 6 plants and see how they fair.

After a few years, if those zone 6a plants do well, I'll consider this move to be more official.

Now, where are those catalogs? I need to start looking at those  "hardy only to zone 6a" plants.  I want to try a whole bunch of them and maybe make this zone 6a move feel a bit more official, as soon as possible, in a few years.


  1. I could pretend I knew the change was coming when I planted the crocosmia Lucifer in my yard last fall...we'll see. But you know gardeners...hope springs eternal.

  2. Even though I knew it wasn't likely I still held my breath for a moment after entering my zip code, hoping I would see a 9 instead of an 8...of course I didn't. I'm still an 8, as it should be. But for just a moment I was willing to dream!

  3. I'm actually glad my zone didn't change - I've gotten used to my 7b gardening comfort zone! And I have now finally got most of the microclimates around my house rather sorted out. I feel like a zone change would mess it all up!

    Enjoy some of those zone 6 plants!

  4. And don't even think about global warming as it isn't real.

  5. Go Carol, go go go! Life is too short to be timid about pushing those zones!

  6. I've pushed those zone limits all the's so much fun. xogail

  7. I used to be a 6a -- it's not so bad!

    Now I'm a 7 - inching toward tropical. I was surprised to see that my county now has three different hardiness zones! Talk about microclimates.

    Have fun in your new zone:)

  8. ohshucks, I was so hoping to slide into a warmer zone, but I am still stuck in 9b :-/ (and I still have a serious case of zone envy!)

  9. Good luck with your zone 6 plants! I need to check and see if my zone has changed. Hadn't even thought of it lately. Hmmm...perhaps I can have some new plants this year also.

  10. Isn't it exciting? But what's a guy to do who named his blog for the zone he WAS in?

  11. According to the new map I am in zone 5b, but I can't tell if that is a change. I think so. When we moved to our hilltop in 1979 I considered that I was in zone 4!

  12. Well, mine moved too from 6b to 7a. There have been some real 6b days here in the last few years. I know they needed to warm up the map, but I wonder.~~Dee

  13. It looks as though I've moved up to 6a as well. It does open up some new possibilities, doesn't it?

  14. My old zip code moved up to a 7a...I wouldn't trust all 7a plants there though...I was seeing winter damage on zone 6 plants.

  15. The sit says I'm zone 8b, but my own experience is that I'm 7b. I'm going to have to go with my own experience with my weird, little micro climate.


  16. Yep, made it to 6A (barely) here in Manhattan Kansas. Need a few more years of warming and I'll try "real" Tea roses!

  17. Hello Carol -
    I think you have it right. When your experimental plantings survive a few winters you can believe the new chart.

    We are here in east central New York (formerly Z-5). I know some winters here, although not so bad lately, are a challenge for our Zone 5 plants. We shall see.

    I checked out your hoe collection. I never thought about it -but it stands to reason -there is quite a variety of hoes. I suppose they can be found all over the world with different variations by region. Makes good sense and is interesting to see the differences. I think I am most curious about those that were in use in colonial America -those brought here from Europe and those that may have been developed here- or,perhaps those that evolved from earlier European.

    You have quite the good looking site. Congrats on that. It won't be long and we'll be swinging our hoes around, eh?
    Dave from Home and Garden 911 dot com.

  18. Thanks for the link. As I suspected, I am still in zone 5b. I think I may still try some crocosmias again.

  19. Hello,
    Thanks for the tip on the zone changes. I knew I was deep in the middle of zone 7, but just for fun I entered my zip code. And since I live out in the country between two towns, I entered the other nearby town's zip code, too. One zone 7a, one zone 7b. I'm gardening on the line!
    Love your blog!
    North Mississippi

  20. It's funny--my zone changed as well but I'd been suspicious for a few years anyway. I'm now officially in a Zone 6a. If we'd stayed in Crown Point, (approximately 25 miles to the southwest), I'd still be in Zone 5b. That old Lake Michigan has a definite effect on climate and we live much closer to it now and it plays out as a warmer zone. An excuse to buy more tender plants? Maybe, or maybe not. Remember, it's just a guideline.


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