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It's about that time. Time to start planning your garden and planting in your Lifetime Raised Garden Beds. Here in Utah the weather has been unseasonably warm. I am still being careful, however, and not planting too early... a surprise snow storm in June is not that unheard of here.

Have you heard about the new Plant Hardiness map from the FDA? The 2012 Plant Hardiness Zone Map has a few surprises for our nation’s gardeners. Due to the warming trend in our climate lately, northerners may be able to successfully grow plants they weren't able to grow before.

So exactly what is the Plant Hardiness Zone Map?  If you’ve ever bought a packet of seeds, you’ve seen it. It's the little multi-colored map on the back of your vegetable or flower packet. Different colored zones on that map inform you of what number of zone you live in, and the seed packet will tell you in what zone those seeds will grow successfully.

Any garden and seed catalog will also have that map for your reference in choosing plants or seeds to order. Now that some of those planting zones have changed, you more adventurous gardeners may want to take advantage of this opportunity to experiment with some of those plants you've always admired but didn’t dare try before. But remember, Mother Nature can be tricky, and surprise you with snow on your tulips.