Pennsylvania has a variety of climates due to its diverse landscape and geographic features. A large percentage of the state’s planting zones have a humid continental climate. The southeast region is the exception, which has a humid subtropical climate that lends to overall warmer weather in every season. Even though there are multiple climates, the whole state sees humid summers and relatively cold winters with rainfall throughout the year. In the western portion of the state, it is not uncommon to see more than 100 inches of snow each winter. Summers in the southeast are hot, humid and long, and in the west, northeast and central regions, summer days are still humid but a bit cooler. Fall is mild and pleasant throughout the state. Tornadoes are not rare, but often they are not severe.
Pennsylvania planting zones are mostly in the 5b to 7a range, however there are small snippets of the state that are 5a and 7b, extending the range a bit. Finding out which Pennsylvania growing zones you are in is the first step in successfully planting a thriving garden. You can quickly find your zone using Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map. Be sure to only plant varieties known to do well in your zone or lower, because plants rated for higher zones can have a difficult time surviving winter months or freezing temperatures seen in low-zone regions. For example, if you live in zone 6a, only choose plants rated from 1 to 6, nothing higher as they are more likely to thrive..
There are many plants that do well in each Pennsylvania planting zone. Some of the vegetables that grow well here include okra, onions, lettuce, sweet peppers, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. There are hundreds of plants and flowers that grow in abundance in Pennsylvania. Ferns, columbine, white wood aster, blue wild indigo, summer phlox, golden ragwort and many others are native to the area and will fill in a garden nicely.
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