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Hardiness Zones

Each plant has tolerances for different weather. Some of our plants can handle our cold winters, others may struggle with the heat.  North America has ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’ which identify areas of similar cold and heat conditions and how they affect plants. The US system is slightly different than Canada, but that is a longer discussion than we have here.  

Zone 1 is way up in Churchill, Manitoba and Puerto Rico is 13 (in US terms).  A plant might have Hardiness zone 5-9, which means it will can survive a zone 5 winter, and a zone 9 summer; it probably won't survive in Timmins because of the cold (zone 2) or Puerto Rico, because of the heat.

Waterloo County is mostly zone 5. Plants that are winter hardy to zone 5 will generally survive our winters. Sometimes our gardens have conditions (too dry through summer, too wet, little snow cover, extreme winter wind) that have the plant going into the winter unprepared, or that make the winter more like a zone 4 winter. The plant might not survive that winter. Every year is different, every garden can be different.

 Canada's current Hardiness Zone map

Until next time,

Thelma Kessel