By Robert Marin
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
11:02 AM CST, January 27, 2012
The coldest day of the year is not as cold as it used to be, and now the government is updating planting zones to reflect the changes.
The zones from theU.S. Department of Agricultureserve as guides for gardeners to determine what plants best survive the cold of Winter in different areas. On the new maps almost all of Kansas is in zone six, with only the farthest areas north in zone five.
The changes mean gardeners can consider a bigger variety of plants that survive the winter. Officials with Kansas State University Research and Extension say the change is not from global warming, but rather from more accurate data and sophisticated record keeping.
"Things that were growing in one zone cooler, that were not things that were typically on our list, will no grow here, which opens up a few more things for us to grow only because of the changes in numbers, the plant probably would have grown here anyway, but we didn't plant it because the zoning said no." said Jaime Hancock with K-State Extension.
This is the first time the zones have been updated since 1990. Many other states, like Ohio, Nebraska and Texas are also in warmer zones. Click here to see the new zoning maps from the USDA.
*Our news partners at KTKA/Kansas First News in Topeka contributed to this report
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