........research each individual plant you are interested in planting and compare its requirements with the climate data from your zone. This would probably be very informative, but who has time for that kind of reasearch? Well, as luck would have it, seed companies have time and have done all the research for us. If your browse through the pages of various seed catalogs such as Johnny's Selected Seeds or Seeds of Change you will notice near the bottom of each plant description, little zone number listings. Many seed catalogs, along with good descriptions of the plants and care instructions also list the zones where the particular plant is expected to thrive. Is it really that easy? Yes! Seed catalogs are among our most useful garden planning tools here at the Yardstead. We get very excited around here in late winter when the catalogs start showing up in the mailbox.
If you have any questions or comments about garden planning, hardiness zones or anything related to urban homesteading, please feel free to post a quick note in the Forum. By the way, I am currently working on an interactive feature for this site that will be based on the hardiness map and provide listings of veggies and other crops for each zone, so check back soon.