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South Dakota Planting Zones

South Dakota planting zones

South Dakota’s continental climate means hot and relatively humid summers and dry, cold winters with severe ice storms and blizzards. January’s high temperature averages below freezing and summers will often see above 100 degrees. The northwestern part of the state has semi-arid conditions with about 15 inches of annual precipitation, whereas the southeast portion can see up to about 25 inches some years. The most precipitation in the state falls in the Black Hills, where almost 30 inches is seen every year. Summers regularly see thunderstorms with hail and extreme winds. Tornado alley runs through the eastern part of the state, and an average of 30 tornadoes occur there annually. 

Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map makes it easy to find hardiness zones. The South Dakota growing zones range from 3b to 5b. Growing zones are also called planting zones, and they were created in an effort to help gardeners determine which vegetables, plants or flowers will do best in their specific region. Zones also help you know which plants will be able to withstand winter conditions of a region. They help you decide when to plant, too. South Dakota planting zones, like all zones, are based on first and last frost dates. For best results, only attempt to grow plants rated for the South Dakota planting zone you are planting in or lower. For example, if you live in zone 3b, you can count on plants rated for zones 1 through 3 to do well. Take care not to plant anything rated for higher zones because those plants will probably not be able to survive winter. 

South Dakota has a plethora of plants, vegetables and flowers to choose from. Black-eyed Susans, yarrow, harebell, goldenrod and hounds tongue will all flourish in a South Dakota garden. Almost all the vegetables you can think of will do well, too. Asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, radish, spinach, tomatoes and many others will grow in abundance. 

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