Vertical Garden Planter Tips and Tricks In USDA Zones 3 and 4

With a new year comes new gardening possibilities—but where should you start? When you’re planning out your garden, it’s incredibly important to understand USDA hardiness zones and know which you’re living in. Zones 3 and 4 are located in the Northern parts of the United States, making these colder zones with some growing restrictions for using your vertical garden planters outdoors. Despite some minor restrictions on what you can and can’t plant, there is a diverse variety of vegetables to be grown in these areas. That’s why we’ve created this fun and informative guide to help the gardens of those who live in zones 3 and 4 thrive as a part of our plant prep series based around grow zones.

Getting the Biggest Yields in Zone 3

Knowing How to Plant Your Vertical Garden Planner Correctly

extreme closeup of vegetables growing in a Garden Tower®Zone 3 is unique because it is the coldest zone in the United States, reaching low temperatures of anywhere from -30 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of the states that are included in this zone include the Northern parts of Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana, as well as small fragments scattered through other western states. Because of these low temperatures, knowing what you can and can’t grow as well as how to start vegetables indoors can help your garden thrive.


Despite the cold weather in the winter, there are still some plants that you can start planting early—some of our favorites include cauliflower, lettuce, and onions. Because these hardy vegetables don’t mind the cold as much, you can start planting them around April. The last frost date in this zone is anywhere from May 1-15, meaning that any plants that are intolerant to frost should wait to be planted until after these dates. To prep for your April planting, many people start their seeds indoors—this can help you save money while also being able to grow your own plants in a controlled environment where you can keep a close eye on them. If you’re looking for a nice variety of vegetables from spring to fall, our Bountiful Harvest Seed Collection can relieve the stress of having to pick which vegetables you’d like to grow.


Because of the cold weather, however, there are some restrictions on what you can and cannot plant—some of the vegetables and herbs that we wouldn’t recommend in your vertical garden planter system in Zone 3 include chives, leeks, dill, and specific perennial plants that are not cold-hardy in this very cool region.  Some perennials need more than one year to produce bountiful harvests (artichokes, for example), so while many perennials can be harvested the first year, be sure to check the winter hardiness ratings of your desired seed varieties and get familiar with the growth patterns of your favorite herbs and vegetables during the planning stage of your garden.  Other than these few restrictions, and shorter spring and fall growing seasons, there is a lot of freedom with what you can grow due to the milder summer weather.


Getting the Best Results in Zone 4

Producing the Biggest Harvests for Your Area

a vertical garden planter thriving indoorsZone 4 is a little warmer than Zone 3, only reaching low temperatures of around -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. These two zones are right next to each other, meaning that they have pretty similar do’s and don’ts for what you can and can’t grow, as well as plans for starting your seeds indoors. Some of the states included in Zone 4 include parts of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and a few other states in New England. Along with the veggies you can plant early in Zone 3, some other favorites for Zone 4 include brussels sprouts and beets. These are a great way to start gardening early despite the cold weather.

If you’re itching to get your hands in the dirt but you’re waiting for the last frost date in Zone 4, which could be anywhere from April 16-30, a fantastic way to start planning your gardening is by creating a garden journal. This will help you plan out what veggies you eat the most and how much you should plant of each vegetable variety. Along with this, you can keep track of your progress when starting seeds indoors as well as throughout the gardening season. Once you’ve figured out what you’d like to plant through journaling, using Garden Tower Project’s vertical garden planter planner to figure out where you’d like each of your plants to go in your Tower will help you plan ahead for the spring.

Similarly to Zone 3, there is a lot of freedom with vegetables that grow later in the summer, such as cucumbers, peppers, and radishes, however the restrictions are the same.


Despite minor differences in the zones temperatures and what can be grown, these are incredibly unique areas for gardening and users are typically able to garner a lot of success with their plants. Interested in a vertical garden planter or learning more about gardening in your area? Visit Garden Tower Project for helpful tips and tricks to make your garden the best it’s ever been.

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