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Frost dates & fall planting

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Frost dates & fall planting

Post  JustMe on 6/28/2012, 12:00 am

I looked up first fall frost dates and three dates came up with percentages. So 10% of first frost occur by September 24, 50% of first frost by October 4, and 90% of first frost by October 15.

When I start planning for my fall planting, should I go off of the 10% or the 50% date?

One reason why I didn't fare well with my spring planting was because I didn't know which percentage of frost date to go off of. Planning for planting/transplanting is not my strength.

My garden's not looking so good, so I'd like to make sure all of the open squares left for fall planting are as successful as they can possibly be.

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Re: Frost dates & fall planting

Post  boffer on 6/28/2012, 12:27 am

I use 50%. But the time span is so short either way it really doesn't make much difference. The weather is going to be whatever it is, and there's no way of knowing. The good thing is that we're talking about cool crops, most of which can handle a light frost unprotected, and can handle temps into the twenties with a light cover.

The tricky part of fall planting is getting the plant to maturity, or near it, before it gets and stays cold which stunts growth. That can mean starting in the heat of summer when cool crops don't do well in heat. That's why some folks will germinate their fall plants inside and transplant when it gets a bit cooler. You can also direct seed and provide shade protection.

Planning for planting/transplanting is not my strength.
It can be a real crap shoot. It all depends on the weather behaving the way we hope/expect it to.

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Re: Frost dates & fall planting

Post  JustMe on 6/28/2012, 11:16 pm

Thanks, that helps a bunch. For spring, I went with the 90% date. Definitely too late, especially given the warm then cold spring we had.

I'll be planting peas in a few weeks for a fall harvest, even though I'm still harvesting spring peas. I planted half the pole beans next to the corn, but missed the cut off for the other half of the pole beans I wanted to plant. We'll see if the peas trellis up the corn instead.

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