New Mexico mostly experiences a semi-arid to arid climate, but there are parts of the state that have continental and alpine climates as well. Overall, an abundance of sun, light precipitation and fairly low humidity are typical across New Mexico planting zones. Annual temperatures have an average of below 40s in the northern mountain regions and mid 60s in the southeast. The Great Plains in the eastern part of the state are similar to eastern Colorado’s high plains. Average precipitation across the state is right around 14 inches. Summer temperatures regularly reach triple digits in the lower elevations. During the winter months, nightly lows can dip into the teens or colder.
Growing zones, or plant hardiness zones, are used as a way to identify which plants and vegetables will most likely survive and thrive in a specific region of a state. They are helpful to determine what, as well as when to plant. New Mexico growing zones are figured using first and last frost dates as a guide. Every zone will note when plants should be put in the ground based on frost tolerance. New Mexico planting zones vary largely, depending on location, from 4b through 9a. Find your New Mexico growing zone with Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map. Keep in mind, it is OK to plant anything rated for the zone it will be planted in or lower. For example, if planting in zone 4b, any plant rated zone 1 through 4 should be able to survive winter. It is important to not plant anything rated for a higher zone or it can have significant difficulty surviving winter.
New Mexico is a great state to grow many plants and vegetables. Plant lettuce, sweet peppers, tomatoes, watermelon, winter and summer squash, onion, chiles, sweet potatoes and more for a delicious vegetable garden that will produce a huge bounty. Rose of Sharon, autumn sage, blue mist, butterfly bush, catmint, Indian blanketflower, knock out roses and many more flowers, shrubs and bushes will grow in abundance throughout the New Mexico planting zones.
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