USDA Massachusetts Hardiness Zones: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, and 7b
Massachusetts, home of Harvard University, is a cold, snowy state in winter. During the summer, though, Massachusetts is warm. The climate of Massachusetts is considered humid continental. This climate is the perfect climate to grow a variety of crops.
Massachusetts is home to almost 500,000 farms. Massachusetts’ farms produce a variety of crops, including hay and melons. The hardiness zones of Massachusetts are 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, and 7b.
Massachusetts Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- Massachusetts has six planting zones.
- If you live in the far western portion of Massachusetts, such as Pittsfield, you live in the 5b planting zone. The 5a planting zone is sprinkled throughout the same area. If you live in this general area, check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for your exact planting zone.
- If you are a resident of Springfield, you live in the 6a planting zone. You are also in the 6a planting zone if you live in Worcester or Lowell.
- If you live in Bristol County, your planting zone is 6b. Plymouth is also considered 6b.
- The barrier islands of Massachusetts are located in planting zone 7a. Barnstable is also in planting zone 7a.
- There is a small area surrounding Chatham and North Chatham that is in planting zone 7b.
Using the Massachusetts Growing Zones Map
Gardening is an enjoyable and popular hobby. Gardening can be frustrating if you plant the wrong types of plants for your planting zone. Save yourself the frustration and take the time to understand which plant zone you live in. Thankfully, the USDA created a map to help gardeners and growers determine their planting zone.
The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Map is the best gauge for determining plants suitable for your climate. The USDA Plant Hardiness Map is relatively easy to use, too. To determine your planting zone, click on the state of Massachusetts. After clicking on the state, simply zoom in on the general area of your location.
If you want a more accurate determination of your planting zone, enter your zip code and address into the search bar. Match the color of the map to the color-coded legend on the side of the map. The color of your location is your planting zone.
The temperature, which is a significant factor in determining planting zones, varies by location across the state of Massachusetts. Temperature also influences the length of growing seasons. Because the temperature varies so much, Massachusetts has six planting zones.
Your planting zone may differ slightly from the surrounding area, too, due to your garden’s micro-climate. Soil, temperature, slopes, and boulders, among other things, can affect the micro-climate of your garden, which in turn affects which planting zone your garden is in.
It is of the utmost importance you understand your planting zone classification before planting any fruits, vegetables, or flowers in your garden.
Massachusetts: A Cold, Coastal State with Six Planting Zones
While the temperatures of Massachusetts vary, you can expect the average growing season to be between May and November. Depending on where you live in the state, the year’s last frost might be the first of March or the middle of May.
Be sure to watch the local news to determine when the year’s last frost is for your area. After the last frost, you’ll be able to plant without worrying about the frost killing your plants.
There are many plants, crops, and trees that flourish in Massachusetts. If you want to plant a vegetable garden, consider planting eggplants, kale, or celery.
Moodscapes LLC, a nursery in Belmont, Massachusetts, also suggests planting lettuce and tomatoes. If flowers are more your thing, think about lantana, petunias, or snapdragons for a pop of color. Dogwoods, redbuds, and oak trees are attractive options to plant to enhance your landscape.