USDA North Dakota Hardiness Zones: 3a, 3b, 4a, and 4b
North Dakota is home to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, including the famous Badlands. While the Theodore Roosevelt National Park covers nearly 70,000 acres, almost 40 million acres are devoted to farmland. North Dakota’s farms are responsible for producing products like wheat, peas, and beans.
North Dakota’s climate is classified as a continental climate. This means the winters are frigid, and the summers are warm. The cold winters help organize North Dakota into four plant hardiness zones. The plant hardiness zones of North Dakota are 3a, 3b, 4a, and 4b.
North Dakota Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- If you live in Bottineau County, you may live in the 3a or 3b plant hardiness zone. Check the USDA Plant Hardiness Maps for more information regarding your planting zone.
- The 3b plant hardiness zone is found mainly across the state’s northern section. Divide County, Burke County, and Cavalier County are classified as the 3b planting zone.
- The majority of North Dakota is classified as USDA zone 4a. Bismarck, Jamestown, Bowman, and McClusky are labeled as growing zone 4a.
- The 4b planting zone is not as prevalent. Only about three counties feature the 4b planting zone. Those counties are Lamoure, Sioux, and Adams.
Using the North Dakota Growing Zones Map
Although North Dakota is a colder state compared to many other places in the United States, you can still grow a successful garden. But it would help if you made sure the plants you have chosen for your garden space thrive in your growing zone.
Growing zones, sometimes called plant hardiness zones, gardening zones, or planting zones, are determined by relative minimum temperature. North Dakota has four different planting zones. To determine your planting zone, use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
In 2012, the USDA designed the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to classify the various planting zones across the United States. A different color represents each planting zone. To determine the growing zone of your space, open the map and click on the state of North Dakota.
You’ll see a map with various pink, blue, and purple shades. Zoom in to your location to get a general idea of the color of your plant hardiness zone. Then use the legend on the side of the map to match the color of your location with your specific planting zone.
Or enter your address and zip code in the map’s search bar to get a better idea of your growing zone.
Each of North Dakota’s planting zones reaches different low temperatures. If you live in the 3a gardening zone, you may see temperatures fall as low as negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit. But, if you live in the 4b planting zone, temperatures may only get as cold as negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
You must know your planting zone before choosing plants for your garden, but it’s also essential to consider your garden space’s micro-climate. If you live near a body of water, you might see more humidity in your garden space than in the general area.
Humidity is just one factor that affects a micro-climate. Other factors include slope, wind, large boulders, and soil type.
North Dakota: Home of the Famous Badlands
Although North Dakota is classified into four different planting zones, the length of the growing season is relatively the same for each growing zone. The growing season typically lasts between 130 days and 140 days. It is not uncommon to begin planting outdoors in North Dakota in the middle of May.
Several vegetables grow well in North Dakota. If you want to grow your vegetables directly from seeds, consider planting peas, carrots, and spinach. Or transplant pumpkins, cantaloupe, or sweet potatoes.
If you want to cultivate flowers native to North Dakota, consider planting Fragrant sand verbena, Meadow anemone, or Arrowleaf balsamroot. Cashman Nursery and Landscaping, located in Bismarck, North Dakota, suggest planting crabapple trees, apple trees, and cherry trees.
Each of these fruit trees grows well in the planting zones of North Dakota.
Trees to Plant in North Dakota
USDA Zone 4
Fern has planted and currently cares for over 100 different native and exotic fruit, nut, and ornamental trees.
She also cultivates an extensive vegetable garden, several flower gardens and cares for an ever-growing happy family of indoor plants.
Fern has a special interest in biodynamic farming, food production and closed loop agriculture.
Fern founded Tree Vitalize to help guide others with an interest in tree planting, identification and care.