USDA Ohio Hardiness Zones: 5b, 6a, 6b
Ohio is also known as the Buckeye State. Ohio got this nickname from its abundance of Ohio Buckeye trees. Buckeye trees are not the only plant that grows well in Ohio, though.
According to Farm Flavor, Ohio is known for producing a large number of soybeans and corn. Buckeye trees, corn, and soybeans are well suited for the continental climate of the state.
If you live in Ohio, you’ll know the state experiences all four seasons. Ohio’s continental climate means the winters are generally cold, the summers are warm and humid, and there is a transition period between each season.
The cold winters help classify Ohio into three planting zones. The planting zones of Ohio are 5b, 6a, and 6b.
Ohio Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- If you live in Knox County, you live in the 5b plant hardiness zone. Parts of Darke County, Preble County, and Williams County are also classified as planting zone 5b.
- The majority of Ohio is considered planting zone 6a. Columbus, Canton, and Lima are labeled as growing zone 6a.
- The 6b planting zone is a relatively small portion of the state. If you live in Akron, along the shore of Lake Erie, or Lawrence County, you live in planting zone 6b.
Using the Ohio Growing Zones Map
Having a green thumb is helpful when gardening, but it is not the secret to being a successful gardener. You don’t even need a green thumb at all. Instead, you just need to know which growing zone you live in.
Growing zones, or plant hardiness zones, gardening zones, or planting zones, are zones classified by the USDA to help determine relative low temperatures.
Knowing your planting zone makes it easy to pick plants that you know will survive in your garden.
In 2012, the USDA designed the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is a color-coordinated map that depicts each growing zone in the United States. You can use this map to help you determine the planting zone of your area in Ohio.
Simply open the map, click on the state of Ohio, and zoom in on your general location. Then, use the legend on the side of the map to compare the color of your area. You’ll notice there are only three planting zones in Ohio, and those zones are color-coded blue and different shades of green.
If you’re having trouble differentiating between the shades of green, enter your address and zip code in the search bar. This will give you a closer view of your area to help you determine your gardening zone.
Although most of Ohio is classified as the 6a plant hardiness zone, before you pick plants for your garden, you need to determine the correct planting zone of your area. Keep in mind that the micro-climate of your area may differ from the surrounding area, too.
If you live on a downslope or near a body of water, this could affect the micro-climate of your garden space. If you know the soil in your garden plot is different from the surrounding area’s soil (for example, you added sand to your garden beds for drainage), the micro-climate may also be affected.
Keep these factors in mind when choosing plants for your garden.
Ohio: More than Just the Buckeye State
Compared to other northern states, the growing season length for Ohio is long. Ohio’s growing season lasts for about 170 days of the year. It is not unusual to see gardeners planting outside near the end of April.
Pro gardeners know, though, to wait until the year’s last frost before planting sensitive crops outside. Planting before the year’s last frost increases the risk of plant damage or stunted growth.
Ohio’s climate makes for the perfect environment to grow various vegetables, flowers, and trees. If you’re hoping to plant a vegetable garden, consider planting peppers, onions, or tomatoes.
If you’re looking to add color to your garden space to attract birds and butterflies, Dayton Nurseries in Norton, Ohio, recommend planting Coral Bells, Butterfly Bushes, and Bee Balm.
Dayton Nurseries also recommend planting Red Sunset Maple, Birch, or Blue Spruce trees to enhance your landscape and add shade.