USDA Nebraska Hardiness Zones: 4a, 4b, 5a, and 5b
When you think of Nebraska, is the first thing that comes to mind corn? If it is, that’s because Nebraska is well known for its agricultural production.
According to the USDA, there are over 44,000 working farms in Nebraska. Many of those farms produce corn, soybeans, hay, and wheat. These crops are perfect for the growing conditions in Nebraska.
Nebraska’s continental climate classification means the state experiences four distinct seasons. If you live in Nebraska or plan to grow plants there, you can expect hot summers and cold winters.
Nebraska’s climate classifies the state into four planting zone categories. The planting zones of Nebraska are 4a, 4b, 5a, and 5b.
Nebraska Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- There is only a tiny part of Nebraska that is considered 4a. If you live in the most northern part of Sioux County, close to the state line, there is a slight chance you live in the 4a zone. The rest of Sioux County is classified as 4b and 5a.
- The 4b planting zone is found mainly in the northwestern counties, including Sheridan and Cherry Counties.
- O’Neill, Broken Bow, North Platte, and Wayne are all located in planting zone 5a.
- If you live south of Interstate 80, you likely live in the 5b planting zone. Hasting, Fairbury, Beatrice, and McCook are located in the 5b planting zones.
Using the Nebraska Growing Zones Map
Before you plant a garden in your space, you need to find out the growing zone of your location. Knowing the growing zone of your area will help you avoid choosing plants that are not suited to live in your climate.
Choosing the right plants for your growing zone will ensure you’ve got a productive and happy garden all season long. Thankfully, the USDA has created a map for gardeners, growers, and planters to help classify growing zones.
To determine which Nebraska gardening zone your space is located in, use the USDA Plant Hardiness Map. The USDA Plant Hardiness Map, created in 2012, is a color-coded map designed to label each climate zone in the United States.
To use the map, click on the state of Nebraska. You’ll see a general overview of the planting zones of the state. If you want a specific reading of your planting zone, enter your garden’s address and zip code or plot into the search bar and hit enter. This will give you the most accurate information.
Knowing your gardening zone is helpful when shopping for plants at the local nursery. Many nurseries add gardening zone information to the plant’s instruction tags. Before buying plants, though, you also need to consider your garden’s micro-climate.
The micro-climate of your garden plots may vary slightly from the overall climate of the area. Facts such as rainfall, temperature, the presence of slopes, dew, and soil types affect the micro-climate. Evaluating your micro-climate and knowing your gardening zone classification will ensure your garden thrives throughout the garden season.
Nebraska: Famous for its Agricultural Production
The growing season in Nebraska lasts anywhere between 130 days and 160 days. The length of the growing season will vary depending on your location in the state and the growing zone of your area.
Wait until the end of April before you plant anything in the ground. Planting before the end of April runs the risk of killing or damaging your plants.
Aside from corn, there are many vegetables suitable for planting in Nebraska. Consider planting squash, peppers, cabbages, and radishes in your vegetable garden.
The Great Plain Nursery, located in Weston, Nebraska, recommends planting coneflowers, primrose, or goldenrod for a pretty addition to your flower gardens. To add shade and value to your landscape, think about planting oak trees, maple trees, or Japanese Lilac trees.