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2012 Plant Hardiness Zone Map

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Plan Map 2012

The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map indicates some zone changes due to northward warming trends. So what is the Plant Hardiness Zone Map? This is a map that gardeners refer to in order to see which plants can be grown successfully in their area. It is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature and divided into 10 degree zones (Fahrenheit). You'll find it in all seed catalogs and on the back of commercial seed packets, as well as the tags on live plants and trees being sold in garden shops. Now northern regions may be able to successfully grow some plants that would have had a hard time surviving in those areas before.

The 2012 USDA zoning map is more sophisticated than the 1990 map because they have taken 30 years of climate data from 1976 to 2005 and incorporated such influential variables as elevation, wind conditions, and bodies of water. Whereas the 1990 map showed 10 zones, the 2012 map has been divided into thirteen zones--the hottest being Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Gardeners can access the interactive Plant Hardiness Zone Map online and either click on their state or enter their zip code to see what zone they live in--right down to half mile segments!

If you find yourself in a different planting zone this year, now's your chance to try experimenting with some new plants and maybe even discover some new favorites.  Lifetime offers some awesome gardening products to assist you in your gardening adventures:

The Lifetime Raised Garden Bed--Our raised garden bed allows you to grow more plants with less weeding, less watering, and less work. Doesn't get any better than that, right? The bed consists of four plastic side panels that simply snap together. No warping or splitting like wooden garden beds. Our raised garden beds come with a handy planting guide full of helpful tips to make your gardening experience successful. Optional vinyl frost cover is available as well.

Lifetime Composters--Our composters allow you to use your kitchen vegetable scraps along lawn and garden clippings to make a rich, organic fertilizer for your plants. Designed with a large, removable lid for easy access and an internal aeration bar which allows airflow and speeds up decomposition. The tumbler can easily be turned on it's axis to rotate the contents. A Lifetime composter takes composting to a whole different level. Unlike open compost heaps, with our compost tumblers there is no smell, no unsightly mess, and no backache. Different capacities available.

The Lifetime Wheelbarrow--The amazing design of the Lifetime wheelbarrow allows you to haul more with less effort. Generous 6.5 cubic ft polyethylene tub is supported by a galvanized steel frame and two large wheels on an extra-wide base for excellent stability. The tub is designed with stake pockets in the sides so you can build them up for taller load. You'll also appreciate the tapered front for easy unloading. No rusting. No tipping.

The Lifetime Yard Cart--The innovative yard cart is actually two products in one. Use it as a wheelbarrow for manual hauling of lighter loads, or attach it to your riding lawnmower to haul extra heavy loads. The steel tongue is designed to be used as a handle for the wheelbarrow or converted to a towing hitch for the cart. Tub weight capacity is 650 lbs or 10 cubic ft. So whether you're maintaining a few flowerbeds or a large vegetable garden, this versatile yard cart will meet your hauling needs.

The USDA website states: "Climate changes are usually based on trends in overall average temperatures recorded over 50-100 years. Because the (new map) represents 30-year averages of what are essentially extreme weather events (the coldest temperature of the year), changes in zones are not reliable evidence of whether there has been global warming."

Resource: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/story/2012-01-26/USDA-climate-zone-map/52787142/1

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