USDA Pennsylvania Hardiness Zones: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
Did you know that Pennsylvania is the leading producer of mushrooms in the United States?
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania produces 68% of all mushrooms in the United States. Pennsylvania’s humid continental climate makes for the perfect growing conditions for mushrooms.
Pennsylvania’s humid continental climate means the state experiences a range of seasonal temperatures. It is not unusual for Pennsylvania to encounter warm, wet summers and cold, snowy winters.
Because of the range of temperatures, Pennsylvania is classified into six planting zones. The planting zones of Pennsylvania are 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, and 7b.
Pennsylvania Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- If you live in McKean County or Warren County, there’s a good possibility you live in the 5a planting zone.
- If you live in the northern portion of Pennsylvania, such as Tioga County or Wayne County, you live in the 5b planting zone.
- The plant hardiness zone of Altoona is 6a.
- Pittsburgh is considered planting zone 6b.
- If you live in the surrounding area of State College, your planting zone is most likely 6b.
- Littlestown and its surrounding area are also classified as the 6b planting zone.
- Philadelphia is considered the 7a and 7b planting zones.
Using the Pennsylvania Growing Zones Map
Raising a garden in Pennsylvania is easy, and you don’t even need to be a master gardener to do it. A simple trick to growing a successful garden is identifying your planting zone and choosing plants that thrive in your specific growing zone.
The USDA has made it extremely easy to locate your planting zone. In 2012, the USDA designed the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The color-coded map is intended to label each growing zone in the United States.
This map is the gold standard many gardeners, growers, farmers, and planters use to choose which crops and flowers to grow in their fields and gardens. Savvy gardeners know to select plants specific to their gardening zones.
To determine the plant hardiness zone for your area, click on the state of Pennsylvania. Then, zoom in on your general location. You’ll notice the Pennsylvania map features six different colors.
Map the color of your location to the legend on the side of the map to identify your growing zone. Or enter your address and zip code in the search bar for more precise information about your plant hardiness zone.
Pennsylvania’s six gardening zones are different regarding the minimum temperatures each gardening zone will experience. This is important because your planting season may vary based on the year’s last frost. It is also essential to know some plants thrive better in different gardening zones.
So, if you live in the 7b gardening zone but choose a plant better suited for 5a, you might be disappointed with your plant’s progress. Before selecting seeds and plants for your garden space, consider the micro-climate of your area, too.
If your garden site is located on a downslope, you might experience more wind than the general area. This will affect your garden’s microclimate.
Pennsylvania: A Leading Mushroom Producer
Pennsylvania’s growing season is about 150 days of the year or about six months. The year’s last frost usually determines the start of the planting season.
Depending on your planting zone and your location in the state, you might begin planting outdoors towards the end of May. Some areas may start to plant earlier in April.
Mushrooms are not the only crop that grows well in Pennsylvania. If you’re thinking about planting a vegetable garden, consider planting squash, shallots, or celery. Broccoli, black-eyed peas, and basil also grow well.
For a pop of color in your flower beds, think about planting wild bergamot, Jacob’s ladder, or summer phlox. Adams County Nursery, located in Aspers, Pennsylvania, says you can plant peach trees, nectarine trees, and pear trees in your orchard, too.