USDA Kentucky Hardiness Zones: 6a, 6b, 7a
Kentucky, well known for its world-famous bourbons, is also known for its crop production. Kentucky growers produce a variety of crops, such as corn, soybeans, tobacco, and hay. According to the USDA, soybeans are grown on nearly 1.5 million acres in Kentucky.
The growing conditions in Kentucky make the perfect environment for growing various produce. The climate of Kentucky is generally hot, humid, and wet during the summer and cold and wet during the winter.
Thanks to Kentucky’s warm summer, Kentucky averages about 160 days of the summer growing season. The hardiness zones of Kentucky are 6a, 6b, and 7a.
Kentucky Planting Zone- A Quick Overview
- With a few exceptions, most of Kentucky is in the 6b hardiness zone.
- If you live in the far western portion of the state, such as Lyon or Fulton, you live in planting zone 7a.
- The southwestern portion of the state, mainly along the northern Tennessee border, your plant hardiness zone is also 7a.
- The 6a planting zone is found in isolated portions of the state. For example, some of Carroll County is in the hardiness zone 6a. Parts of Clay County are also in 6a. Make sure to look at the USDA Plant Hardiness Map to determine the planting zone of your specific area.
Using the Kentucky Growing Zones Map
The climate of Kentucky is perfect for growing various crops and vegetables. However, not every flower or plant may thrive in your garden. You can use the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to help you determine your exact planting zone.
Knowing your specific planting zone will help you decide which crops and plants will survive and flourish in your garden. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is a reference tool used by growers. Often, you’ll find hardiness zone information on a plant’s growing instruction tag.
With the help of the tag and knowing your planting zone, you can be confident you’ll have happy plants in your garden all year round!
To learn which planting zone your garden or field is in, you need to go directly to the USDA Plant Hardiness Map. Then, you’ll need to enter your exact address and zip code into the search bar. If your garden space does not have an address, no worries!
You can click on the state of Kentucky and zoom in to your relative location on the map. The USDA has color-coded each plant hardiness zone with a different color. Use the map’s legend to match the map’s color with your plant hardiness zone.
Kentucky’s climate is temperate, which means it has three plant hardiness zones, 6a, 6b, and 7a. The average temperatures in each of these three zones may be slightly different.
For example, the average minimum temperate of growing zone 6a can be as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit. While the average minimum temperature of growing zone 6b can be as low as -5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pay attention to the micro-climate of your specific area. Your micro-climate may be somewhat different from the surrounding climate due to many factors, such as wind and humidity.
Kentucky: The State with Three Planting Zones
Any seasoned gardener will tell you not to plant your first crops until after the year’s last frost. Planting before the last frost will run the risk of killing your plants.
Fortunately, the last frost in Kentucky is generally around the middle of May, and the first fall frost is in mid-October. This means you have around 160 days of summer planting, depending on your hardiness zone and type of crop production, such as an open field or greenhouse planting.
If you want to plant a vegetable garden in Kentucky, consider planting cucumbers, potatoes, and peppers. No vegetable garden is complete without the addition of beans and peas. These vegetables do well in the 6a, 6b, and 7a planting zones.
If flowers are more your thing, Baeten’s Nursery and Greenhouses in Union, Kentucky, suggests planting cosmos, marigolds, or forget-me-nots. Tulip poplars, red maples, and American beech trees also grow well in the planting zones of Kentucky. Consider those trees if you want to landscape or add shade around your property.