Landscaping for Your Climate Zone: What You Need to Know

If done correctly, the landscaping you choose for your property can add at least as much aesthetic value to your home as the design and layout of the home itself. Whether you prefer a lush, manicured lawn punctuated by magnificent trees, or a stunning garden full of vegetables and fruits for the kitchen table, doing your research and knowing your climate zone will help you make the best plant choices for your area.

Landscaping for Your Climate Zone


What are Climate Zones?

The boundaries outlined by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, otherwise known as climates zones, are based on the annual average minimum winter temperature of each area. Using this information, you can learn which plants are suitable for the area where you live. Some plants are capable of going dormant during harsh winters and sprouting anew in the spring, while others must have mild, stable temperatures all year.

Using Climate Zone Information

Knowing your climate zone gives you a starting point for understanding which plants will grow where you live, but just because a plant can survive doesn’t mean it is ideal for your landscape. Certain shrubs and flowers, while capable of enduring winter’s frost, may still not thrive in a cooler or elevated zone. Perennials that require freezing temperatures during winter will struggle if planted in an arid, semi-tropical climate. Know your zone, then research the needs of each plant before you go to the trouble and expense of installing it. If you take some time to strategically plan your landscape with zone-friendly flowers, trees and shrubs, you will have a lush yard full of thriving, regional plants.

Prevent Turf Trouble

A pale, scraggly lawn which demands constant care—yet never seems to thrive—is an annoyance you can avoid if you know what grasses do best in your area and the ideal soil required for growing them. In colder climates, soils that have significant organic matter are better at absorbing heat and promoting root development. In desert climates, where the lawn will be subjected to searing heat and long periods of dry weather, topsoil that drains well but still retains moisture without excessive pooling is key. Research appropriate turf and topsoil choices for your climate zone for information on things like blade and root length, drainage, and density. Choosing the wrong turf can end up costing you hundreds of dollars—save yourself both time and money by identifying the turf and topsoil needs of your climate zone.

A thick, luxurious lawn that is healthy and easy to maintain offers great pride of ownership. Armed with the knowledge of your climate zone, you can learn which grasses and types of topsoil are best for your landscaping goals.

In the Zone

Your landscape is the part of your home that everyone gets to see. Choosing plants that grow best in your zone gives you the edge in having a healthy, beautiful yard that will be admired by passerby for years.

Informational Credit to Western Turf Farms Ltd

Erin Emanuel