Do you live in an area (like Nevada County) with varied terrain and varied USDA zones within one zip code? Call your local Master Gardeners for expert guidance in establishing the USDA zone for your property. In our video Tricia explains that knowing your zone is the first step in choosing the right fruit tree for your land. This is true for most of the plants and trees in your garden.
What are Plant Hardiness Zones?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture sorts the whole country into plant hardiness zones. The national map shows gradations of the average minimum temperatures, based on decades of weather records. For instance, your winter weather might hover around 36°F at night, but if cold snaps drop it to 28°F the lowest number is the one the USDA factors in. Worst-case scenarios are what they cover.
Why is the Weather for Zone 7b in California so Different from Zone 7b in North Carolina?
The USDA zones are only about low temperatures. Other climate differences between California and North Carolina (such as humidity, rainfall during the summer, and highest temperatures) are not considered.