Hardiness Zones & Environmental Factors of Gardening
Environmental conditions play a major role in the healthy growth and sustainability of your green roof, living wall, and soil-based gardening projects. Knowing your hardiness zone and other environmental factors you’re growing in is critical to the longevity of your vegetation. With in-depth knowledge of your surrounding environment you can plan more efficiently and produce healthier vegetation.
Before You Begin
The success of your garden largely depends on your ability to plan. Before you begin your gardening project there are some planning factors to address:
- Choose the appropriate vegetation types for your zone
- Select the appropriate space where you will establish your garden
- Determine the amount of sunlight reaching the garden each day
- Be aware of exposure to the elements like wind and rain
- Create your watering scheduling and select the most efficient water source. For example, you may consider installing a rainwater harvesting system or an automated watering system.
Hardiness zones are geographical areas which are used to determine the best form of plant life that can survived based on the weather patterns of the region. Hardiness zones indicate what type of growing conditions you can expect to encounter including temperature levels throughout the year. Hardiness zones are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature during a 30-year period in the past. If you choose plants that push their hardiness zone and aren’t rated for your zone then you may experience issues. Keep in mind that there might still be microclimates that are too small to show up on a hardiness zone map.
You can determine the hardiness zone of your region by referring to the USDA’s Hardiness Zone Map or Canada’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map and searching for your corresponding zone number. To select the best plants for your hardiness zone use the Plant Finder from the National Gardening Association.