Upper Midwest Growers

Note: Those of you on the western and southern edges of this region may find a need to create a separate group, but for now I am including you! I just feel like the arid and subtropical climates may feel more “at home” in a separate discussion group as you will face different challenges from the rest of us. We’re a big and sparse region though, so I understand if we end up coming here to discuss.

Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Illinois, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Dfa, Dfb, Dwb, Dwa, Bsk

USDA Hardiness Zones


Those of us in Northern Illinois feel shunned.

1 Like

Don’t feel bad, I am the only one in the whole state of Arkansas.

1 Like

Oh! I guess we can include you. I thought Illinois might be more at home in a group with Indiana, Ohio, etc? The Midwest is such a tricky region because it can get huge fast.

Edit: Should I maybe do a map based on hardiness zone and Köppen classification? That way folks in the arid and subtropical parts of this region know they may want to group up separately for the most relevant discussion? I’m just thinking of the PNW & Willamette Valley groups as an example.

1 Like

Michigan is hard, too. The northern part (and especially the Upper Penninsula) should be with Minnesota and Wisconsin, but the southwest and southeast would be more at home with Indiana and Illinois or even Ohio (I live 45 minutes from Ohio). Maybe we need to narrow by zones or at least include those with our state. I’m in SE Michigan, Zone 6a.


1 Like

I agree, Michigan seemed a bit of a gamble. See my edit on my post above? I probably won’t have time to make a map until this weekend but maybe that would help us.

Edit: awesome!

The east half of montana fits into this category id say also, climate changes significantly once you get into the mountains though…

1 Like

I’m including Montana for now - I don’t think Growing Fruit has enough membership in your area that you’d be able to form another group easily.

Edit: And by that I mean - eastern MT, western SD, ND and NE are more arid/montane.

1 Like

Since we’re including eastern Montana, I’m also going to add eastern WY for now.

Checking in from Iowa! Solidly zone 5a.

I’m about two miles from Iowa. Probably Eastern Illinois could go with Indiana. But we have much more in common with Wisc., Iowa, and South Dakota.

As I understand it, anyone can read any post, so all are free to pick and choose the group most relevant. For example, I never read the citrus, fig, jujube, goumi, persimmon, pluot, paw paw, almond, or tropical fruit posts. No point in it.


I feel attacked lol


Central/West central MN for me. Used to be zone 3b, now with “climate change” it’s zone 4a. Yet, we dip under -30 most every winter.


@smsmith I’m in Saint Paul, MN. USDA says we are still in Zone 4b, but almost every year I’ve lived up here (8 years now) I’ve had rosemary, lavender, and oregano overwinter successfully. This leads me to think the urban heat island and sheltered microclimate are bringing my area closer to a Zone 5.

I grew up in eastern SD and may still share posts from that area when I visit. Everything just seems colder, windier, drier, and more vulnerable back home. That’s my standard for a Zone 4 mentally, although I know that’s probably not the “right” way to think about it.


It definitely is. I went to SDSU and SD is brutal in the winter. When I moved to WI it was like a really cold snow globe :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

1 Like

Is Colorado not considered midwest? I always thought were were because people used to think we were all cowboys and cowgirls. I guess now we are known for being stoners but that used to not be the case. Also I feel like our climate is much harder to grow in with Colorado than Wisconsin or Iowa. The Dakota states and Wyoming are just freezing cold. There is a reason no one wants to live in Wyoming even though it is cheap as heck living there. I feel our cold dry winds are bad and it is even worse in Wyoming.

I did not understand the concept of “winter wonderland” until I moved to Minnesota! I think the closest SD winters came was when you had that rare foggy night that turned into hoarfrost by morning. Minnesota and Wisconsin also have so much more vegetation, which adds texture and colour in winter. It’s very beautiful here. In eastern SD it is just a lot of grey and brown. The snow either gets honed into crust or scattered into dust.

I also went to SDSU - sadly, I think the N.E. Hansen research farm was sold to the Babybel factory. All those old, neglected apple trees are probably gone… who knows what they were.

1 Like

The Cities are the banana belt of MN. Get down towards Owatonna and it’s colder than the Cities (and much more windy). I’m about 2 hours NW of the Cities. Just under 2 hours to Fargo. Very different climate than the Cities.

1 Like

Not in my mind