Find out what zone is Kansas in for planting and what the average last frost date is for the state.
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Gardeners use planting zones to determine when to plant vegetables and flowers. The United States is divided into 11 planting zones, each zone representing a 10-degree difference in the average minimum winter temperature. Zone 6 ranges from -10 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and Kansas is in this zone.
A plant’s hardiness zone is determined by the lowest average temperature that region experiences. Zones are divided into 10-degree F intervals and are further subdivided into a, b and c (a being the coldest). In general, as you travel north or south of the equator, average yearly temperatures decrease until you reach the poles. The hardiness zones in the United States range from zone 1B (-60 to -65 degrees F) in Alaska to zone 13 (-10 to 0 degrees F) in Hawaii.
Most of Kansas is located in hardiness zones 6 and 7. Zone 6 ranges from -10 to 0 degrees F and is further divided into zones 6a (-10 to -5 degrees F) and 6b (-5 to 0 degrees F). Zone 7 ranges from 0 to 10 degrees F and is further divided into zones 7a (0 to 5 degrees F) and 7b (5 to 10 degrees F). A small section of northwestern Kansas is located in zone 5 (-20 to -10 degrees F), while a small section of southwestern Kansas is located in zone 8 (10 to 20 degrees F).
When choosing plants, it’s important to select varieties that are well-suited for your hardiness zone. Plants that are not cold-hardy will not survive the winters in colder zones, while plants that are not heat-tolerant will not survive the summers in warmer zones.
In the United States, the average minimum winter temperature is used to define plant hardiness zones. The lower the zone number, the colder the winter temperatures; the higher the zone number, the warmer the winter temperatures. The heat zones in Kansas range from 4b to 7a.
4b -30° to -20°F (-34° to -28°C)
5a -20° to -10°F (-28° to -23°C)
5b -10° to 0°F (-23° to -18°C)
6a 0° to 10°F (-18° to -12°C)
6b 10° to 20°F (-12° to -6°C)
7a 20° to 30°F (-6 °to -1 °C)
Kansas Planting Zones
Kansas is located in the Midwest of the United States and has a continental climate. The state has hot summers and cold winters. The average last frost date in the spring is April 15 and the average first frost date in the fall is October 15. Kansas is in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-7.
Most of Kansas is in hardiness zone 6
Kansas Hardiness Zones
Most of Kansas is in hardiness zone 6 with a small section in the southwest in hardiness zone 7. The northernmost and westernmost parts of the state are in hardiness zone 5. The table below shows the average minimum temperatures for each zone. Use it to find out which plants are likely to thrive in your garden.
Zone 5: -10°F to -20°F
-15°F to -25°F
Zone 6: -5°F to -10°F
0°F to -10°F
Zone 7: 10°F to 0°F
5°F to -5°F
Parts of Kansas are in hardiness zone 5
Kansas is located in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8. The map shows that most of the state falls in zone 6 with a small section in zone 5 in the northeast corner, and a tiny bit of zone 8 along the southwest border.
Zone 5: Minimum average temperatures of -20 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit are expected in this zone. This region experiences colder winters with occasional snowfall and summers that aren’t too hot.
-Between 2001 and 2005, the coldest average temperatures experienced were -24 degrees Fahrenheit (-31 degrees Celsius) on Feb. 16, 1996 and Feb. 2, 1989.
-The warmest average temperature recorded was 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius) on July 14, 1936.
Zone 6: The minimum average temperatures for this zone are between -10 and 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Like zone 5, this region sees colder winters with some snowfall, but summers aren’t as hot as other parts of the country.
-The coldest temperature on record was -27 degrees Fahrenheit (-32 degrees Celsius) on Feb. 12, 1899 and Feb 15, 1888.
-The highest average temperature was 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius) on July 14, 1936; July 15, 1934; and July 17, 1930
Kansas is in heat zone 5
To give your plants the best chance for success, choose varieties that are recommended for your planting zone. Kansas is in heat zone 5. The map below shows which heat zone Kansas is in.
Heat zones are based on the number of “heat days” or “day degrees” in an area. A heat day is defined as a day when the temperature is above 86 degrees F. Day degrees are cumulative, so a day with a high of 93 and a low of 77 would have 16 heat days ((93-86)+(77-86)=16).
The average number of heat days in an area is used to determine that area’s heat zone. For example, if the average number of heat days in an area is between 0 and 90, that area would be in heat zone 1; if the number is between 91 and 180, it would be in zone 2, and so on.
You can use the map below to see which heat zone you live in. Keep in mind, however, that microclimates (areas with slightly different climate conditions than the rest of an area) can occur within planting zones. Use this map as a guide, but always check plant tags to see if a plant will do well in your particular location before purchasing it.