Understanding Climate Zones is Essential
Placer County has several climate zones due to variation in elevation and proximity (or lack thereof) to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Understanding the zone where you garden and your garden’s unique microclimates will help you choose the right plants.
Most gardeners are familiar with the USDA zones, which rely on average annual extreme minimum temperature. The USDA zone map is valuable if you are worried about winter hardiness.
To access the USDA zone map:
Step 1: Go to http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/
Step 2: Type in your Zip Code where it says "Find Your Plant Hardiness Zone." Press Enter. Type in the case-sensitive Captcha that is displayed. Voila, you have your Zone.
OR if you prefer a Static Map, go to "View Your State Map," and select Northern California. Find the color that matches your area on the key to the right and the corresponding Zone.
The American Horticultural Society (AHS) has developed a map with zones based on the number of days over 86°.
Click here to review the AHS zone map: AHS Heat Zone Map
Or go to the AHS website: http://www.ahsgardening.org/gardening-resources/gardening-maps/hardiness-map
Sunset Climate Zones:
The Sunset climate system considers many factors beyond heat and cold, including the influence of the Ocean, Delta and other large water bodies, fog, elevation, latitude, and local microclimates.
To access the Sunset Climate zone map:
Step 1: Go to http://sunsetwesterngardencollection.com/climate-zones/
Step 2: Click on Northern California "Learn More." Then Click "Enlarge Map."
Step 3: Find your city on the map and the corresponding Zone. Scroll down to read information about your zone.