Although we can’t predict the weather, by learning more about past weather we can make a more educated guess about the future. By understanding your garden’s microclimate, you’ll be able to choose plants that will thrive in your particular neck of the woods.
Many gardeners rely on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for a quick and dirty way to decide what to plant based on their “zone.” Zones are also a favorite qualifier of some nurseries and seed companies. Be aware that your zone is only based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature. The zones were just updated in 2023 and it’s interesting to compare the changes from the previous map.