The Q&A Archives: USDA Zone

Question: I live at about 2700 feet on a south facing slope with some coastal influence. I think this is probably a Sunset Western Garden Book Zone 14, but what would be the comparable USDA Zone? We typically get 2-6 in snow about 3-5 times a winter, but otherwise temperatures are fairly mild. Lows are probably 20-30 degrees. It would be unusual for it to get colder. However, it also stays comparatively cool in the summer due to surrounding forest. Thanks

Answer: Your garden is in USDA Zone 8, with minimum temperatures of
10 to 20?F. Zone 8 skirts near the western and southern borders of the United States, from the rainforests of Washington's coast to the coast of North Carolina. Winters here are relatively warm, growing seasons are long, and rhododendrons flourish. In the Northwest, you'll enjoy mild summers with some of the best American gardening climate; and in the Southwest you'll have the definite winters and hot, dry summers of the desert. Plants for zone 8 include Arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree), Choisya ternata (Mexican orange), Olearia haastii (New Zealand daisy-bush), Pittosporum tobira (Japanese pittosporum), Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry-laurel), and Viburnum tinus (Laurenstinus).

Hope this information helps you plan your garden!

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