The first question you must ask before planting is, “what is the hardiness zone in greenhouse growing?” because this refers to the climatic conditions of the area. Regardless if you’re growing exotic flowers or vegetables, knowing the hardiness zone of your location dictates the success of plant growth and survival. The relevance of the hardiness zone in greenhouse growing is it will tell you the adjustments you must do indoors.
Additionally, you can identify what to expect and create solutions to potential problems year-round. Remember that every crop and plant will thrive in a specific set of conditions, so monitoring and adjusting the greenhouse is mandatory. You will also have an easier time choosing species and cultivars based on their hardiness and the hardiness zone of your state.
What Is The Hardiness Zone In Greenhouse Growing And How To Use It
What is a hardiness zone?
A hardiness zone, growing zone, or planting zone will tell you the average annual extreme minimum temperature of your state or region. This is more useful for farmers and gardeners than the lowest temperature ever or what temperature might occur in the future. For easier identification of your hardiness zone, the United States Department of Agriculture created the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map that you can view by state, region, or nationally.
Overall, you can also divide the USDA plant hardiness zone map into thirteen 10°F zones, which also have subzones of 5°F. North America has 13 hardiness zones that you can differentiate based on their temperature and climate. But how do you distinguish each zone?
From zones 1 to 13, zone 1 would have the coldest conditions, and zone 13 would have the hottest climate. You will notice a 10°F difference in each zone, which means zone 1 would be 10°F colder than zone 2. Using this information, you can choose the recommended plants for each zone, and each crop will have supported zones for successful growth.
However, don’t be surprised to see that some plants can thrive in more than one hardiness zone. If you’re using a greenhouse, it’s also crucial to check other factors such as sudden temperature changes, sun exposure, moisture, frost, soil quality, the plants themselves, and management. Lastly, each zone will have a different microclimate that you will have to learn before greenhouse gardening.
How to use a hardiness zone for greenhouse growing?
Did you know that you can also use the hardiness zone to choose and operate a greenhouse? By understanding the usual conditions, you can adequately determine the site, glazing, size, and greenhouse materials. For instance, selecting and operating a greenhouse in USDA zone 4 is affected by how you can prepare for the winter season.
Adjusting the greenhouse conditions
If you’re one zone from the recommended hardiness zone, you can use a greenhouse to adjust the conditions that your plants will want. This can mean improving the temperatures to mimic the optimal conditions for their growth. However, it’s important to emphasize the effect of other factors to guarantee plant survival.
For example, the Southeast region is dominated by growing zones 6 to 10. However, this region is also prone to having soils with excessive clay. It’s not enough to choose recommended plants for your state, but you must also address the soil or research plants that will thrive in this type of soil.
Choosing and operating the greenhouse
Did you know that you can also use the hardiness zone to choose and operate a greenhouse? By understanding the standard conditions, you can adequately determine the site, glazing, size, and greenhouse materials. For instance, selecting and operating a greenhouse in USDA zone 4 is affected by how you can prepare for the winter season.
What Challenges To Expect On Each Hardiness Zone?
The cold conditions in zones 1 and 2 can be challenging for greenhouse growing. Zone 3 can also experience high winds, while zones 4 and 5 can have short growing seasons. Zone 6 is the rating for most of the US, and it can give you many growing options because it’s more forgiving.
Speaking of which, zone 7 also gives different plant options, while the hot summer and mild winter in zone 8 give you an extended planting season. If you are in zone 9, you can have year-round planting easily. As for zone 10, extreme heat can cause problems.
Zones 11 to 13 are in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and some parts of the continental US. Zone 11 can skip the problems of frost, while zone 12 and 13 experience the hottest conditions.
Greenhouse gardening gives you the ability to grow most crops and plants without the limitations and setbacks of outdoor conditions. But before you start planting, you must know what the hardiness zone in greenhouse growing is. By definition, it is synonymous with the growing and planting zone that dictates the average annual extreme minimum temperature of your state or region.
Upon knowing this information, you can choose plants, adjust greenhouse conditions, and choose and operate the greenhouse successfully. However, you must not forget about the sudden temperature changes, sun exposure, moisture, frost, soil quality, the plants themselves, and management. These factors are separate from the hardiness zone and might be specific to your garden only.