Difference Between USDA and Sunset Garden Climate Zones
Location: Washington, Kitsap Peninsula
Posted: Jun-26-2005 at 3:18pm
Sunset Publishing Company redefined Western climate zones that help us garden better; their zones reflect regional climate differences. Not only do they take in minimum temperatures, but all differences in climate.
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zones are based on minimum temperatures in the winter. A zone 8 garden in the Pacific Northwest maritime climate is completely different compared to a zone 8 garden in the deep south. Even though their minimum temperatures in the winter can be the same, they have hot humid summers, where we have very dry mild ones and very wet winters.
Find your Sunset Garden Zone: http://www.sunset.com/garden/climate-zones/. Compare it to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hzm-nw1.html.