The United States Department of Agriculture has released a new version of their "Plant Hardiness Zone Map" and there have been some changes as to what people in Montana could plant when it comes to their gardens.

The Plant Hardiness Zone Map for Montana

This is the first time the map has been updated since 2012. Take a close look and you may see some of Montana's zones may have changed. The 2023 map update is based on 30 year averages of the lowest annual winter temperatures at specific locations. According to the report:

When compared to the 2012 map, the 2023 version reveals that about half of the country shifted to the next warmer half zone, and the other half of the country remained in the same half zone. That shift to the next warmer half zone means those areas warmed somewhere in the range of 0-5 degrees Fahrenheit; however, some locations experienced warming in the range of 0-5 degrees Fahrenheit without moving to another half zone.

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The Montana map is shown below:

Credit: USDA
Credit: USDA

Not All Changes May be Due To Climate Change

The USDA Goes on to say that the changes in the zones and map aren't necessarily reflective of global climate change. They are getting more technologically sophisticated mapping and there are more weather stations, across the U.S., reporting data than there have been in the past.

Gardner Resources Are Available

The USDA  "Hardiness Zone Map" website, is also a resource for other gardening information. There are gardening tips, soil health information, plant research and more. You may want to know about some plants that are illegal to grow in Montana as you plot out your garden for the year. Use the zone map and make the most out of whatever you decide to grow here in Montana.

Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events

Montana is named Big Sky Country for several reasons, not only grandiose Sunsets but impressive weather events as well! Ask any Montana resident who has scoffed at the idea of tossing a blanket or snow shovel in the trunk of the car ” just in case”. Here is a list of Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events

Gallery Credit: Brian Lee

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