Much of Virginia has a mild humid subtropical climate that is affected by the Atlantic Ocean. The far southern and eastern parts of the state can get humid and warm. Mountain regions west of the Blue Ridge have maritime temperate and humid continental climates. And the coastal areas are largely influenced by the Gulf Stream, where hurricanes are a likely occurrence. Summers in Virginia are hot and winters are typically crisp and cold. The state gets around 35 days of thunderstorms every year, mostly in the western region, and it averages just over 40 inches of precipitation annually. Virginia also sees tropical cyclones, tornadoes and impact from wild winter storms most years. July is the hottest month of the year, with the temperature across the state averaging 75 degrees. January is the coldest month and will regularly average about 36 degrees. Parts of Central Virginia will see significant snowfall during winter.
Hardiness zones are important for gardeners. Gilmour’s Interactive Planting Zone Map makes it easy to find your hardiness zone. The Virginia growing zones range from 5a to 8a. Growing and hardiness zones are also known as planting zones, and they help gardeners know which plants, vegetables and flowers are best-suited to thrive in an area. Knowing your zone means knowing which plants can survive winter. Zones also tell you when to plant, too. Virginia planting zones are based on first and last frost dates. Only grow plants that are rated for the Virginia planting zone you are in or lower. So if you live in zone 5a, plant anything rated for zones 1 through 5. Do not plant anything rated for higher zones, as those plants probably will not be able to survive winter.
Multiple vegetables and flowers grow in Virginia. Coneflower, ferns, coreopsis, perennial geranium, hardy hibiscus, catmint and black-eyed Susans are great flowers in Virginia gardens. Many vegetables grow exceptionally well in the state, too. Cucumbers, snap beans, garlic, sweet potatoes, peppers, snow peas, lettuce and squash are just a few that grow in abundance.
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