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Tennessee Planting Zones

Tennessee planting zones

As a result of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Tennessee has a humid subtropical climate across much of the state and its planting zones. The southern winds create most of the state’s generous precipitation, which largely occurs during the winter and spring months. Average precipitation for the year is usually about 50 inches. Tennessee experiences mild to cool winters and hot, humid summers. The higher elevations of the Appalachians have a humid continental climate with cooler temperatures. Snowfall amounts depend on location, with the high mountain ranges in the eastern parts of the state seeing more than 16 inches. The western region gets just about 5 inches. Tennessee is unlikely to see actual hurricanes due to its far distance from the coast, however it will feel the effects of weakened tropical cyclones that cause extreme rainfall. Tornadoes are a possibility and are most probable in the west and middle parts of the state. Average annual temperatures greatly differ across the state. Summer temperatures statewide average in the mid 70s and the winters average just below 40 degrees. 

Tennessee growing zones range from 5b to 8a. Finding what hardiness zone you are in is simple with Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map. Growing zones help gardeners all over the country figure out which plants, flowers and vegetables will thrive and which likely cannot survive the winters of their region. All hardiness zones, including Tennessee planting zones, are based around frost dates. For best results, choose plants rated for the Tennessee planting zone you are in or lower. So, if you live in zone 5b, it would be safe to plant anything rated for zones 1 through 5. Be careful not to use plants rated for a higher zone, as they will most likely not be able to survive the Tennessee winters. 

There are many plants, vegetables and flowers to choose from in Tennessee. Verbena, coneflowers, swamp sunflowers, sage, lamb’s ear, common rue, tickseed, shasta daisies, butterfly weed and many other plants and flowers do very well in Tennessee gardens. Any number of  vegetables will grow well there. Beets, savoy cabbage, carrots, kale, sugar snap pea, potatoes and more will grow in Tennessee. 

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