USDA Minnesota Hardiness Zones: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a
Minnesota, home of the Twin Cities, is called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” According to the University of Minnesota Duluth, there are approximately 14,380 lakes in the state. That many lakes in one place influence the local climate.
Minnesota’s climate is considered a continental climate, meaning the winters are frigid and the summers are hot and humid.
Corn and soybeans, crops that love a warm, humid climate, grow well in Minnesota. The continental climate also makes the perfect growing conditions for crops such as oat and barley. Minnesota has six planting zones: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a.
Minnesota Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- The most northern part of Minnesota is considered planting zone 3a. If you live near Crane Lake or Cook, you are located in this planting zone.
- If you live south of Cook but north of Atkin, you live in planting zone 3b. Bagley and Walker are also in planting zone 3b.
- Although the 3b planting zone surrounds Atkin, it is actually considered planting zone 4a. Cambridge, Glenwood, and Fergus Falls are also in this planting zone.
- Minneapolis and Saint Paul are listed as planting zones 4b.
- Planting zone 5a is only a tiny part of Minnesota. If you live in Jackson County, Martin County, Faribault County, or Freeborn County, there is a chance you are located in planting zone 5a.
Using the Minnesota Growing Zones Map
There are a variety of crops that thrive in Minnesota. But because temperatures in Minnesota can reach as low as the negative teens Fahrenheit, some plants will not thrive well. Before choosing which plants to grow in your gardens, you need to determine your plant hardiness zone.
To find your plant hardiness zone, sometimes called growing zones or planting zones, check out the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map is used by gardeners and growers across the United States. This map is a reference tool to help planters determine which hardiness zone their gardens are located in. The USDA growing zone map will provide you with crucial information to help you pick plants specific to your location in Minnesota.
Minnesota has six different gardening zones. Using the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, click on the state of Minnesota. When you click on the state of Minnesota, you’ll see a general overview of the planting zones of the state. Use the legend on the side of the map to match the map’s color. The legend is color-coded to specific planting zones.
Enter your zip code or address into the search bar to get an even more accurate planting zone for your garden space. Each of Minnesota’s planting zones differs based on minimum temperatures.
For example, if you live in planting zone 3a, the average minimum temperature may reach as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. But, if you live in planting zone 5a, you may see temperatures only dip as far as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is essential to consider your gardening zone before choosing plants for your garden. You also need to consider the micro-climate of your growing space, too. The climate of your garden may be different from the surrounding climate. Several factors influence your garden’s micro-climate.
Humidity, wind, and dew, among others, can affect your garden’s micro-climate. So, if you live near any of the approximately 14,000 lakes in Minnesota, you must consider your planting zone and micro-climate before the gardening season begins.
Minnesota: The Land of 10,000 Lakes and Six Growing Zones
Depending on where you live in Minnesota, you may have a growing season of 90 days or 160 days. The growing season typically begins after the year’s last frost. It’s generally safe to start planting in mid-May. Check your local weather data to determine the approximate date of the last frost for your area.
If you’re ready to begin thinking about which vegetables to plant in your garden, consider planting peas, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts. If potatoes are more your thing, those grow well in Minnesota, too.
Black-eyed Susan, asters, and hydrangeas make for a beautiful landscape and grow well in the various growing zones in Minnesota. If you’re looking to add trees to your landscape, the Northwood Outdoor Services in Rogers, Minnesota, suggests planting Ginkgo, Bur Oaks, or Red Maples.