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Knowing Your Virginia Zone - Understanding the USDA Planting Map
If you live in Virginia, you will be in one of the four Virginia USDA plant hardiness zones that range from 5a in the western mountains to 8a on the eastern shore. These zones should serve as a guideline when selecting flowers, shrubs or trees for your garden. Much of Virginia experiences a relatively mild winter with extreme low temperatures above zero; however, those that live in the northwest could see chilly winter lows down as far as -20 F. The Virginia planting map above can be enlarged by clicking on it so that you can see which zone covers your area. Once you have determined your zone, you can use this information when you start or add to your garden and landscape. The USDA unveiled a new plant hardiness map at the beginning of 2012 that replaces the older version from 1990. The map is much more detailed than previous versions and now takes into consideration such factors as elevation, urban heat and proximity to a large body of water. Although there are still many other factors that affect the success rates of plants such as soil type, winter sun and humidity, amongst others, the Virginia plant map should serve as a guide when landscaping or gardening.
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