Spring is here! If you have hearty perennials that survived the winter, start nurturing them right away with water, weeding and fertilizer. If some of them didn’t make it, or you planted annuals last year, it’s time to think about what you’re going to plant this season.
Many people plant shrubs and flowers based only on appearance. That’s fine if you don’t mind rolling the dice on your plants’ chances of surviving a frost. If you want to better ensure your plants will thrive you have to know your growing zone.
Planting by Zone
The USDA designates nine growing zones and here in East Central Indiana we’re in Zone 5. This means plants must be able to survive an extreme low temperature of -20 F. (A close look at the map shows that some parts of Central Indiana are in Zone 6, but it’s best to take the lower number when in doubt.)
Lots of beautiful flowers, fruits and vegetables do well in Zone 5, from asters to zinnias, and from asparagus to watermelon. A great resource for suggestions is the Old Farmer’s Almanac. There’s a lot of information on the website and even more in the book.
Planting by Locality
Some Hoosiers prefer plants that are native to Indiana. They point out that native plants are best for the environment as native plants promote healthy wildlife populations and help prevent the spread of invasive, exotic species. The Indiana Wildlife Federation lists (and sells) native trees and shrubs such as American Highbush Cranberry, Silky Dogwood and Spicebush.
Why not plant species that are attractive, hearty and promote a healthy environment all at once? Feel free to contact us with questions about plant selection. We’re here to help!