Today I am going to talk about cold climate zones. Since I already did post for zones 1 thru 3 and zones 7 thru 10, it was only fitting to do zones 4 thru 6. My hardiness zone at the Simongetti North is zone 5. I will talk about each grow zone 4 thru 6, give the detail of the temperatures, when to start growing seed indoors and when to plant the plants outdoors. Some tips on other edible plants to incorporate in your gardens. Again, it’s important to know your growing zone to know when you can start gardening outside.
Growing Zone 4
Growing in zone 4 has a shorter growing season, with June 1st for the last frost date and October 1st with first frost date, which these dates can vary 2 to 3 weeks one way or the other depending on the weather conditions that year. Michigan has zone 4 in the west upper peninsula. Zone 4 is also found in Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, northern Wisconsin, most of Minnesota, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Utah, Nebraska, Nevada and a little bit in Idaho and Colorado.
It’s also found in the northeast, Maine, northern New Hampshire, Vermont and up state New York. The lowest average temperature for zone 4 is -30 to -20 degrees, zone 4 has a subset, 4a and 4b, which means zone 4a minimum average is, -25 to -30 degrees and zone 4b minimum average is -20 to -25 degrees. For growing zone 4, it’s recommended to start seeds indoors to be ready to plant the vegetables outdoors after the last frost date.
Other plants that do well are some fruit bushes and fruit tree’s that grow vary well in zone 4. Blackberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Grapes, Strawberries, The blackberries and grapes start with zone 4 thru 9 and the blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries can be grown starting in zone 3 thru 9.
Growing Zone 5
Grow zone 5 has more of a medium length growing season. The last frost date is May 15 and first frost date is October 15, give or take a week or two, depending on weather conditions that year. I think for zone 5a, which is where I am located, I think the last frost is May 30th and first frost is October 1st, respectively.
Most vegetable will have no problem reaching maturity date before the first frost in zone 5. It’s always advised to watch the weather before planting. Zone 5 is also divided into two subsets; 5a and 5b, 5a minimum average is -15 to -20 degrees and 5b minimum average is -10 to -15 degrees.
There are 32 states that have zone 5; Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, South Dakota, Washington, California, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wyoming. That is more then half of the United States that has Zone 5.
Growing season can be extended using raised bed gardens and/or cold frame gardens. There are a few fruit trees that do well in zone 5 which are pears, plum, apple, peach, cherry and Pawpaw trees. Most vegetables can be grown in zone 5. Nut trees love zone 5. Start seeds indoors approximately six weeks before the last frost or sooner. The optimum time to plant vegetables in zone 5 is the date of the last frost.
Planting any sooner than the last frost will probably kill the plants. Melons can grow in zone 5 too. Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are great additions to any garden. I grew cantaloupe and watermelon in our garden last year and they were very taste. My grand kids loved them and they also loved watching all the plants grow in the garden and liked that it was grown in Grandma’s garden and it all tasted great!
Growing Zone 6
Grow zone 6 is one of the best climates for growing vegetables. The last frost date is May 1st and the first frost date is approximately November 1st. Which is, considered a medium long growing season. The hot weathered plants love this zone and is ideal for cold weather crops. Most of the vegetables and flowers will have no problems reaching maturity date in this zone.
If you want to extend the growing season by starting plants indoors you could potentially have 2 growing seasons in one year. Zone 6 has a subset of 6a and 6b; which zone 6a minimum average is -10 to -5 degrees and 6b minimum average is -5 to 0 degrees. The last frost date is April 1st and first frost date is October 17th to 31st.
There are 38 states with zone 6; Alaska, California, DC, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, West Virginia, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts. Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming, Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.
There are several fruit options as well, Apple, pear, peach and plum trees also cherries, blackberries and blueberries. Another tree that grows well in zone 6 is an olive tree. Olives like long warm summers with cool nights. Who doesn’t like the beautiful spring blossoms of the flowering trees in the spring? Flowering trees grow very well in zone 6. There is a hardy palm tree and ornamental grass that can grow in zone 6.
As you can see there are plenty of vegetables, flowers and trees to plant in each of the zones. Each zone is a little bit different. Some of the same vegetables, flowers and trees can all grow in the same zones, just plant at different times and some plants will not work.
Anyone starting to plan for their spring gardens?
Which zone do you live in?
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Please leave a comment below and let me know if you started to plan for your spring vegetable or flower gardens yet. If so, what are you planning to grow this year?
If you have any other gardening information you would feel helpful, please let me know and I will research it and blog it!