I remember them changing the growing charts around 1990. They said it was to make them more detailed and accurate. It caused quite a commotion in the gardening community Quoting: Brunhilda
As an avid gardener, the new 2012 map just released is going to cause even more of a commotion!
This is outstanding..
Best item in the news all day. Since gardening is a huge hobby of mine, perhaps the best news item all year.
I live in Minneapolis, here's a quote from today's article about it in the Minneapolis StarTribune-
"The coldest rating on the previous Minnesota map -- 2b in two areas of northern Minnesota -- disappeared entirely from the new map, while two small lobes of a warmer zone previously unseen in Minnesota, 5a, crept across the Iowa border into southern Minnesota; that zone also popped up in a few very small parts of the metro area, the so-called "urban heat island."
[link to www.startribune.com
So from this new map, it shows parts of Minneapolis in a growing zone warmer than any area in about 100 miles around.
Huge news. Reputable plant nurseries will guarantee their perennial plants will survive if they are rated for that USDA hardiness zone.
When I was growing up here back in the 60's and 70's, Minneapolis was a brutal USDA zone 3. Then in the 1990, it went to zone 4a. Now in 2012, zone 5!
The central US, often called the "breadbasket of the world" for it's agriculture production, will become even more abundant.
People will be able to grow things they previously couldn't. Here in Minneapolis, you can grow raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, no problem, but most blackberries were zone 5 and a risk to try, until now!
Similar for alot of grape varieties, plants like rosemary and lavender, you wouldn't bother with it before, but now you can give it a shot.
The glorious wonders of God's plant creations will be expanded to millions more people with these new USDA zones.