To start planning your garden, you should determine the plant hardiness zone in which your garden is located. In the U.S. there are 11 plant hardiness zones as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which are also known as growing or climate zones.
There is no hard and fast rule that says that one species of plant will necessarily flourish or fail outside of its hardiness zone, and it may often be worth an experiment to go a zone either way now and again. However, the plant hardiness zones are considered to be fairly reliable guidelines. Reference your local extension service about planting in your zone.
Consider the size and heights of the mature plants when laying out your new garden beds and allow room for plant growth. Finally, determine the amount of vegetable seed of each type, or the number of ornamental plants you will need to purchase.
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