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North Dakota Planting Zones

North Dakota planting zones

The continental climate of North Dakota brings traditional warm to hot summers and cold winters. Each of the four seasons is distinct, and its upper midwest location results in the state seeing wide swings in weather. The western half of North Dakota has a semi-arid climate, which receives less humidity and precipitation than the eastern half, where a humid continental climate is seen. There, more humid summers and windy and cold winters are expected. Eastern region winters have slightly colder winters, and western parts see higher daytime temperatures in the summer. Annual average temperatures range from mid 60s in July to 0 to 15 degrees in January, depending on the planting zone location. 

North Dakota growing zones do not greatly differ. You can find your growing zone using Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map. Zones in the state range from 3a to 4b. Growing zones are also referred to as planting zones and they were designed to help gardeners figure out what plants, vegetables and flowers are most likely to thrive in a given region. Knowing what zone you are in can help determine which plants will withstand the winter conditions of the region. But zones aren’t just useful as a guide on what to plant, but on when the best time to plant is, too. North Dakota planting zones are based first and last frost dates. When planting a garden, you should only use plants rated for the North Dakota planting zone you are planting in or lower. If you are planting in zone 3a, it is important to plant any plants rated zones 1 up to 3, no higher. This helps ensure plants can survive the winter conditions of that specific zone. 

North Dakota is home to so many plants, vegetables and flowers that all grow well. Using the hardiness zone map as a guide is the best opportunity to be sure you are choosing plants that will thrive. And there is a wide variety to choose from. Alyssum, dusty miller, French or dwarf marigolds, pansies, petunias, lobelia and moss rose are all well-suited for the area. Vegetables that do particularly well include cabbage, carrots, leeks and radishes, just to name a few.

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