USDA's plant hardiness for Illinois

This past week, the USDA announced a new map that lets you find your zone specific to your zip code.  I’ve thought Chicago was all zone 5b, but I’m happy to announce my move into 6a.  What does that mean?  Well, it’s a warmer zone, so possibly plants that might not survive in zone 5b will in zone 6a.  My planting dates are pretty much the same, about April 15th for the last frost date and Oct 15th for the first frost.  It’s not a huge change, but considering this winter, maybe the trend is a continuing one.  Perhaps in another 15 years we’ll be in zone 7a like the very southern tip of Illinois?

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