New York Planting Zones

New York State is made up of five different growing zones (3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) with annual minimum temperatures ranging between -35° and 10° F (-37.2° and -12.2° C) depending on where you’re located within the state.

In this article, you will learn:

The terrain of New York consists of beautiful meadows, lakes, rivers, forests, and striking mountains. The region is very contrasting, home to both an urban metropolis and vast areas of wilderness.

 

Image from USDA

Characteristics of New York Planting Region

The climate of New York state is primarily humid continental, characterized by moderate to hot, humid summers and frigid winters with episodes of bitter cold and high winds. The winters also see abundant snowfall. Rochester and Buffalo are consistently listed as some of the snowiest cities in the USA. 

New York State also experiences a variety of extreme weather conditions, including:

  • Floods
  • Droughts
  • Heat Waves
  • Coastal storms
  • Heavy snowfall
  • Ice storms
  • Severe storms
  • Wildfires

The length of the growing season varies depending on the region you’re located in. For example, the last frost date can be anywhere between April 15th and May 15th, while the first frost tends to happen from September 1st to October 15th.


Hunter, New York

Challenges of Growing in New York

1. Extreme Weather

The extreme weather conditions across the state pose many risks for gardeners. Droughts, storms, and floods can damage your plants and leave you empty-handed. It’s wise to use raised garden beds and protective coverings to avoid damaging your plants.

2. Heat Waves

New York regularly experiences severe heat waves in the summer months. This type of weather can quickly wilt or kill a number of your plants. Monitoring the temperature and alternating between indoor and outdoor growing may be necessary for your garden’s survival.

3. Heavy Snowfall

New York State is known for its abundant snowfall, with the average annual snowfall sitting around 70 inches. Unfortunately, this can dramatically limit your ability to extend your growing season into the winter months unless you make use of a protective covering or indoor growing.

 

 
Livingston Manor, New York

The Benefits of Using a Greenhouse in New York

There are several advantages of using a greenhouse in New York State. First, it will offer protection from extreme weather conditions and allow you to regulate temperatures, humidity and airflow during heat waves. Additionally, a greenhouse will help extend your growing season well into the cold winter months, providing opportunities to experiment with a wider variety of plants.

1. Extend your Growing Season

  • Without a Greenhouse:
    Outdoor gardeners in New York can expect a brief growing season of 3-4 months on average. This short planting timeframe comes with several limitations on what types of plants will thrive. Many will need to be planted indoors and transplanted in outdoor gardens at a later date.

  • With a Greenhouse:
    Greenhouse gardening will dramatically extend your growing season in New York. Gardeners can expect a planting season of 7-10 months depending on what zone you’re located in. The ability to double or even triple your growing timeframe makes a greenhouse a fantastic investment for this region.

Learn more about specific growing dates for your area and the best vegetables to plant in each part of New York.

   

Customer images of the Sungrow Greenhouse from East Aurora, New York

2. Grow a Wider Variety of Vegetables 

  • Without a Greenhouse:
    Shorter growing seasons and longer winters in New York mean many gardeners will need to opt for cool-hardy vegetables unless utilizing an element of indoor growing. Some of the crops that will thrive in this region include:
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Turnips 

  • With a Greenhouse:
    Using a greenhouse will open the door to countless more vegetable options for New Yorkers. Both warm and cool-season vegetables will flourish throughout the extended growing season. The following are popular vegetable selections for greenhouse gardeners:
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkins
  • Winter Squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Lima Beans
  • Basil
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Garlic
  • Watercress
  • Leeks
  • Celery
  • Spanish Onion
  • Jalapeños
  • Potatoes

 

Lettuce

Why Planta Greenhouses?

Customer Stories From New York and Similar Climates

  • Nancy & Bruce from New Hampshire

    Just sending some photos of our amazing Planta Sungrow Greenhouse we bought last year. This is our first season of planting. My husband built raised beds on both sides leaving room at one end for a potting bench...

For New York, we recommend the following greenhouses:

  • Sungrow
    Sungrow greenhouses have a unique, modern, heavy duty design. The Made for backyard farming in Canadian climate. Sungrow Greenhouses withstand snow and wind like no other.
    View Sungrow
  • Planta Farmer
    The Farmer Commercial greenhouses Series by Planta is designed for commercial cultivation of agricultural crops in farms.
    View Planta Farmer
  • Astra
    Planta’s Astra is a heavy duty, cold frame, mini greenhouse designed for backyard farming.
    View Astra