USDA South Dakota Hardiness Zones: 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, and 5b.
South Dakota, famous for Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, is an agricultural state. According to Acre Trader, nearly 89% of South Dakotas land is dedicated to farmland.
Knowing this statistic, it is no surprise that South Dakota is known to be a top producer of soybeans, corn, and sunflowers.
South Dakota’s continental climate helps make the state an agricultural state. The continental classification means South Dakota experiences all four seasons each year.
South Dakota’s weather patterns classify the state into five planting zones. The planting zones of South Dakota are 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, and 5b.
South Dakota Planting Zone – A Quick Overview
- The 3b climate zone is only a tiny part of the state. You’ll find the 3b planting zone in parts of Pennington County.
- If you live in the northern region of South Dakota, such as Buffalo or Little Eagle, you may live in the 4a planting zone. The entirety of Day County is also considered the 4a planting zone.
- The plant hardiness zone of Pierre, the capital of South Dakota, is labeled as 4b (although some portions of Pierre are classified as 5a).
- If you live in Mitchell, Brookings, or Sioux Falls, your planting zone is 4b.
- The southeastern portion of the state, including Gregory County and Bon Homme County, is considered subzone 5a.
- The 5b planting zone is in a tiny area close to Custer.
Using the South Dakota Growing Zones Map
It is entirely possible to raise a successful garden in South Dakota. To ensure your garden’s success, make sure you choose plants known to thrive in your specific plant hardiness zone. Thanks to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, it is easy to identify your growing zone.
In 2012, the USDA designed the USDA Plant Hardiness Map. This map, referenced by gardeners and growers across the United States, is an interactive map designed to label each planting zone in the country. Each planting zone is color-coded, making it easy to determine the boundaries of a planting zone.
To use the map, click on the state of South Dakota. You’ll notice South Dakota has five planting zones, ranging in color from light purple/pink to turquoise. Zoom in on your general area to determine your gardening zone.
If you know your garden plot’s address and zip code, enter it in the search bar for the most accurate information. After identifying the color of your planting zone, match it with the legend on the side of the map.
South Dakota’s five planting zones vary by minimum temperature. For example, the temperature in growing zone 3b may reach as low as negative 35 degrees Fahrenheit. But the temperatures in the 5b planting zone may only dip as low as negative 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
When choosing seeds and plants for your garden sites, you need to keep your plant hardiness zone in mind. It would help if you also considered the micro-climate of your area.
The micro-climate of your garden space may vary from the general region if your garden space is close to a significant water source, there are large boulders around your site, or the soil type is different. Keep these factors in mind, too, when choosing your plants.
South Dakota: A Top 10 Agricultural State
South Dakota’s growing season usually starts at the beginning of May. Typically, the growing season lasts for about 150 days or through the end of September.
While South Dakota is a top producer of soybeans, corn, and sunflowers, many other vegetables, flowers, and trees thrive in South Dakota’s gardening zones.
You might consider planting pumpkins, carrots, or peppers. The East River Nursery, located in Huron, South Dakota, even suggest growing radishes, mushrooms, or eggplants indoors! Consider planting hollyhocks, irises, or peonies if you love working in your flower beds.
Or, if you want to boost the look of your landscape, think about adding fruit trees like apple trees, plum trees, or pear trees.
Trees to Plant in South Dakota
USDA Zone 4
USDA Zone 5
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.