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Gardening and Global Warming

April 12, 2009

Global warming has had an impact on gardeners across the United States through unusual or even extreme temperatures.  The results of changes in the climate aren’t always warmer temperatures, but the majority of the country has seen an increase in temperatures.  This increase has resulted in a shifting of hardiness zones – the geographic guide that demonstrates what areas of the country a particular plant can grow.  It was originally developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and was updated in 2006 by the Arbor Day Foundation.  For a look at the difference between the 1990 USDA hardiness zones and the updated version, check out the web site for the arbor day foundation here.  It clearly indicates that warmer climate is gravitating northward.

According to the USDA, central Illinois falls into the 5a or 5b zones but the newer version shows that we are now located in zone 6.  While these guidelines can be useful for a national outlook, you may do well to consult a local nursery, an experienced gardener, or the local extension office for hands-on results of what will grow well and what will not.

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