Burpee Releases "Good News" on New Hardiness Zone Map
January 2012-Warminster, PA-With the USDA's recent release of the revised Plant Hardiness Zone Map, the nation’s leading home garden company, W. Atlee Burpee & Co., has been besieged by calls from customers asking for information on how the new map will impact their gardens.
"The answer—like a garden—is very diverse," says George Ball, chairman and CEO. "For seed customers, global warming results in slightly warmer and longer summers which means—since annuals literally feed on heat and light—higher yields of vegetables and longer displays of flowers. In other words: good news! Certainly nothing to worry about."
Ball adds, "But for hardy plants—for which the 'hardiness' map is named—that continue to live through the winter below the ground in the form of roots, or atop it in the form of trees, the map is more consequential. It means 'the South is rising,' to quote my South Carolinian mother in another context. But seriously, a zone 7 perennial may now do well in a zone 6, a zone 6 in a zone 5, and so forth. 'Warm plants' will perhaps have a better chance a bit farther north—everything else being the same, such as altitude, wind and compass-facing direction."
"And shade may not be quite so shady in the coming years. But, in general, the most affected gardens will be perennials and woody ornamentals. Think 'botanical gardens' rather than 'home gardens' as being those most affected."
For more responses, Burpee has just launched a question and answer guide for home gardeners on its website, www.burpee.com. See Burpee's Plant Hardiness Zone Map Q & A Guide here: http://www.burpee.com/about/content.jsp?id=newusdazonemap
Providing gardeners with the most up-to-date and accurate garden information is a responsibility Burpee takes very seriously, according to Ball. In addition to the new Q & A Guide, Burpee's Ask & Answer page is a place where gardeners can share advice with each other and get advice from Burpee's team of horticulturists. Visit the Ask & Answer page here.
Burpee reports the newly revised hardiness zone map will appear on the back of its perennial seed packs and in its catalog beginning in 2013.
You can follow Burpee on Twitter @Burpee Gardens or become a Burpee Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/BurpeeGardens. Log on to our Facebook page to tell us how the new hardiness zone map will impact your garden.