In the Zone

One of the keys to successful planting is putting the right plant in the right place. That begins by learning your hardiness zone as you plan and plant your landscape.


Understanding your planting zone in Colorado will increase your ability to create a garden that can flourish from year to year. Planting vegetables, trees, flowers and other plants that are appropriate for your zone will make your gardening less frustrating.


The USDA created plant hardiness zones to act as a guide for gardeners and farmers. The system divides the US into 13 plant hardiness zones based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature of a region. It's a rough guide to help gardeners and landscape professionals choose plants that will grow well in their area.


Much of Colorado falls into zones 4 - 6, though the fruit-growing area near Grand Junction can cross into zone 7. According to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for Colorado, areas in Chaffee County range from 4a to 6a.


Look for these numbers when buying seeds or plants for your landscape. Keep in mind that hardiness zone labels can cause some confusion in the Rocky Mountain region. A plant sold as a "perennial" in a big chain store may grow as a perennial in its home zone, but in Colorado zones they would be an annual. Examples include chrysanthemums and verbena.


Plant health depends on more than just temperature. Soil quality, sun, wind, and drainage can all affect the success of a plant, eve if it is labeled for your zone. Keeping this variables in mind as well as understanding your planting zone will help you be more successful in your efforts to create a wonderful garden.



References

Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (2021, Jan. 29). Tip of the Week: Water Your Trees. https://www.alcc.com/tip-of-the-week-email

Gardening Know How. Colorado Planting Zones – USDA Map Of Colorado Growing Zones https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/planting-zones/colorado-planting-zones.htm


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