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New USDA Map May Mean Earlier Planting In North

A new map from the USDA has some northern gardeners hoping to grow plants that used to be considered too fragile for cold weather zones. The hardiness zone chart is about a half zone warmer than the last one issued in 1990. The USDA says the changes are not due to global warming, but to more sophisticated mapping methods. Seed sellers and buyers say that, whatever the reason, the warmer temperatures expand possibilities for planting this spring.