As we enter spring planting season, you might want to take a note of the official USDA climate zone map. In the 20 years since it was last published, we’ve had enough climate change that warmer zones have moved north and the map had to be updated.

Baby, it's warm outsideThe new map uses 30 years worth of data so it accounts for unusual seasons, as well as other things that affect the climate. The result is something a lot of gardeners and farmers already knew: It’s warming. (Nebraska and Ohio, for example, both moved up a full zone — that’s 10 degrees. Most of the rest of the country moved up half a zone.)

So if you have gardening clients who know they’re in Zone 6b, they may want to check again to see if that’s changed.

Oh, and they should get used to drier weather, too. A different government report noted that in the eastern part of the southeast (that’s us) “summer and winter precipitation declined by nearly 10 percent” over the past century, and that’s expected to continue.

 

And click here for “USDA updates planting zone map – get up to speed for curb appeal” by Virginia Realtor Genevieve Concannon.

Click here for the official map.

And click here for the news story about it.