IAThe 2012 Hardiness Zone map was released last week and I am happy to see that most of Iowa is now in Zone 5! To find the exact hardiness of your location, visit http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

I’ve been planting zone 5 plants for years, and have had a lot of success.  However, there are many gardeners out there not willing to take the risk.  I find that the reason zone 5 plants don’t usually survive is not because of the plants lack of hardiness, but other conditions such as soil type, soil moisture or lack of maintenance on the gardeners part. 

I am always willing to take a shot at a marginal plant at least once. I figure if I can have success out in the country with all the exposure to the elements, then a gardener in a protected location should have no problem.  Now with the adjustment of the hardiness zone map, maybe more gardeners will be willing to take the risk with me!  I am still trying new plants every year and will continue to do so, after all, that’s what I love about gardening. Trial and error.  And if plants didn’t die, how would we get to try new things?  I’m always happy to share my experiences with plants and am more than willing to be the guinea pig and try something new.

Seven weeks till my plants start arriving, and there will be some zone 5 varieties to try out! 12 weeks till the outdoor farmer’s market starts.  With this mild winter we’ve been having it’s hard not to be in the mood for spring already, but I guess we will have to be patient. My spring plant list will be available March 1st.  E-mail me if you’d like a copy to start planning your spring planting! redgranitefarm@hotmail.com