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USDA and OSU Update Essential Map for Gardeners

Map of the United States showing plant hardiness zones
The USDA has been releasing a Plant Hardiness Zone Map since 1960. The last map was released in 2012 by the USDA in collaboration with OSU’s PRISM Climate Group.

The U-S Department of Agriculture has updated an essential map for gardeners around the country that’s based on climate data from Oregon State University.

The Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the national standard for gardeners to figure out which plants are most likely to survive the coldest winter temperatures in their region. The latest update incorporates data from over 13,000 weather stations, making it the most accurate edition ever released.

Overall, the 2023 map is about 2.5 degrees warmer than the last map, released in 2012.

Chris Daly of OSU’s College of Engineering is the map’s lead author. He said the effects of geographic features smaller than a half mile may not be apparent on the map.

“We always tell gardeners you know what works in your garden, despite what the map might tell you,” Daly said. “The gardener is the best person to know what can grow in their gardener and what can’t.”

Daly says hundreds of thousands of people downloaded the map within the first few days of the update.

Noah Camuso is a freelance reporter for KLCC.
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