USDA Kansas Hardiness Zones: 5b, 6a, 6b, and 7a
If you live in Kansas, you’re bound to have heard the famous phrase, “There’s no place like home.” While Kansas is famous for the movie, The Wizard of Oz, it’s also known for its wheat crop. According to the USDA, Kansas produces nearly 319 million bushels of wheat each year. Of the 60,000 farmers in Kansas, nearly 20,000 of them are wheat growers.
Wheat grows well in Kansas because wheat thrives in the continental climate of the state. The climate of Kansas ranges from extremely hot summer periods to very cold winters. Depending on the season, the temperature can vary greatly.
Kansas Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- If you live in the very northern part of Kansas (think the top row of counties, such as Washington and Cheyenne Counties), you most likely live in zone 5b. The temperatures of planting zone 5b can reach as low as negative fifteen degrees Fahrenheit.
- The plant hardiness zone of the middle portion of Kansas, such as Ellsworth and Ness City, is considered planting zone 6a.
- The lower portion of Kansas, as in Hutchinson down to the state line, is in the 6b growing zone. A slight temperature difference distinguished 6a from 6b.
- If you live in Harper County or Sumner County, there is a slight chance you live in the 7a growing zone. Look at the USDA Hardiness Zone Map to determine your specific area.
Using the Kansas Growing Zones Map
Gardening is a rewarding hobby, but it can be extremely frustrating if your plants quickly die. You can avoid disappointment and make sure your plants thrive properly by referencing the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is an essential reference tool for gardeners and growers. The USDA growing zone map contains key information regarding your specific climate in Kansas. You can choose plants you know will survive and thrive in your area with this information.
Using the Plant Hardiness Zone Map is easy. To identify the growing zone for your space, pinpoint your area on the map. You can do this by clicking directly on the state of Kansas. After you click on Kansas, you can zoom in on the map to zoom in on your specific area. An even easier way to determine your growing zone is to enter your exact zip code and address into the search bar.
The hardiness zones of Kansas are 5b, 6a, 6b, and 7a. Unless you live in Sumner County or Harper County, it is extremely unlikely you will live in the 7a planting zone. You will most likely live in the 5b, 6a, or 6b growing zones.
The growing zones of Kansas are somewhat different based on temperature and growing season length. It is important to keep this in mind and reference the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map when choosing which plants to sow or transplant into your garden space. It would be best if you also considered the microclimate of your area.
Sumner and Harper Counties are excellent examples of why this is important. Although both counties are primarily in the 6b planting zone, small portions of each county are considered 7a. Features of your garden, such as large boulders or water sources, may affect the overall climate of your area compared to the surrounding climate.
Kansas: More than Just a Yellow Brick Road of Wheat
Most gardeners and growers in Kansas plant during the summer growing season. Kansas’s summer growing season lasts for approximately 175 days each year. You can begin to plant your vegetables and crops after the year’s last frost, usually around mid-April. The first frost of the year, or the end of the summer growing season, is generally mid-October.
Vegetables such as beans, lettuce, and radishes do well in the planting zones of Kansas. You might also consider onions, carrots, and peas. Hollyhocks, sunflowers, and coneflowers make great additions to any flower garden space in the 5b, 6a, 6b, and 7a planting zones.
If you want to plant trees for the shade and added value, consider planting Eastern Red Cedars, Oaks, or Flowering Dogwoods. If you have questions about your planting zone or you’re ready to purchase plants for your garden, visit The Henry’s Plant Farm in Lecompton, Kansas.