May 15, 2021

Turning point: When is it safe to plant garden?

Turning point: When is it safe to plant garden?

Spring in the vegetable or flower garden is a carefully orchestrated series of events. The goal is to keep things moving forward with the warming season, taking into account weather predictions and, because those are just predictions, average spring warming trends where you garden.

Many gardeners use Memorial Day as a turning point in their gardening calendar. But Memorial Day weather in San Diego is very different from Memorial Day weather in Concord, N.H.

Last killing frost

A better measure is “the average date of the last killing frost in spring” where you live. Note that this is just what it says, an average. In any year, that date might be earlier or later.

You can figure out that average date of the last killing frost online at a variety of sites where you just type in your ZIP code. Or contact your local County Cooperative Extension office for that information.

Some like it hot

Vegetables and annual flowers can be grouped into the cold-tender and the cold-hardy. Cold-hardy vegetables include onions, lettuce, arugula, parsley, spinach, radish, carrot, parsnip, and cabbage and its kin, such as kale, collards, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Snapdragon, pansy, petunia, pinks and verbena are some cold-hardy, annual flowers.

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