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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Planting a Seed

Warmer temps bump Evansville to new plant hardiness zone.

Think Evansville is getting warmer? It’s not your imagination. Evansville’s spot on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map has shifted from Zone 6a to 7a — meaning its average extreme minimum temperature has climbed five degrees Fahrenheit — from 0 to 5 degrees.

Is that a big deal? For gardeners, yes. “It gives us a slightly longer growing season with the first and last frost dates being pushed out slightly,” says Amanda Bradshaw Burks, Purdue Extension’s Vanderburgh County educator for urban agriculture.

“Plants behave differently in various zones,” adds Tony Buccilli, president of the Southwestern Indiana Master Gardeners Association. “Knowing our plant hardiness zone also helps us choose the perennials, including trees and fruit bushes, that may be appropriate for our zone.”

Burks notes hardiness zone data are only “one piece of the puzzle” in home gardening, and “knowing the moisture, soil properties, and site limitations of where we are planting all play a role in the success of what we are growing.

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