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Have we past the last frost?

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Have we past the last frost?

Post  Weatherkid on 4/12/2011, 1:12 pm

I'm wondering whether we've past the last frost/freeze? Our average last frost date is around the 25th of April, and the ten day forecast has no temps below the mid 40s. Any thoughts?

Also, when do people around here typically transplant tomatoes into the garden? Right after the last frost, or do you wait a few days/weeks?

Thanks,

Weatherkid
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Re: Have we past the last frost?

Post  Dunkinjean on 4/13/2011, 10:53 pm

Here in NJ I planted:
2 1/2 wks ago peas.
1 1/2 wk ago carrots, radishes, lettuce and potatoes.
tomorrow I am planting more carrots for carrot week.

I don't plant my tom, peppers, etc. until May 10-15th.

You are a bit south of me.

Dunkinjean
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Re: Have we past the last frost?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/13/2011, 11:12 pm

Weatherkid wrote:I'm wondering whether we've past the last frost/freeze? Our average last frost date is around the 25th of April, and the ten day forecast has no temps below the mid 40s. Any thoughts?

Also, when do people around here typically transplant tomatoes into the garden? Right after the last frost, or do you wait a few days/weeks?

Thanks,

Weatherkid

Hey Wxkid, I can help a little.

First, your frost date is just an average of your local climatology over the years of record keeping. It's a 50/50 line drawn on a calendar that says half the time you will get frost after this date and half the time you won't. It's a bit of a gamble to plant things before this date. Heck, it's a gamble to plant after the date for awhile.

But, the hardier, cool season veggies and flowers will do just fine. They won't grow a lot without milder weather in there, too, but they won't die off. The most common veggies that come to mind are spinach, lettuces and cabbages, carrots, and peas. These can go into the ground up to 3 or 4 weeks BEFORE the frost date with good success according to Mel's book. There is such a neat chart in there, that if you are into gardening....and plan to be for a long time....I would get the book somehow for the charts alone. Flowers that come to mind are pansies and primroses. These guys are super tough.

However, I would hold off on the more notoriously sensitive veggies like tomatoes and peppers. Their flowers are very sensitive to frosts and should be planted after your frost date has passed. It maybe worth holding off for 2 weeks after your frost date just to give yourself the best possible chance of getting the most out of a single trip to the plant store. Flowers that do better in the heat are marigolds, geraniums, vincas and impatiens (impatiens of you have lots of shade).

My frost date is April 7th. I made some modifications to my garden to bring my frost date back to March 30th. I was planting lettuces and carrots back in early March because of this. However, I still won't be planting tomatoes or summer flowers until late April (another week at the earliest). They just won't do well enough to make the work worth it when compared to waiting a touch longer. To clarify, I don't cover my summer plants. So, I kind of operate with two different frost dates. One for plants under covers and one for plants with no covers.

I hope that makes sense. As you garden more, you will find you have lots of choices to accommodate your enjoyment within this hobby. Hope I helped.
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Re: Have we past the last frost?

Post  itsablondething on 4/14/2011, 5:28 pm

I'm not far from you, and am in 6b... but I think nights have been cold and have the chance to drop down.. but... I've been know to plant way early, and just watch the temps and go throw a blanket over things if they were going to go to low.

This year, though, I decided I'd wait until May 15.

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Re: Have we past the last frost?

Post  rayandpath on 4/14/2011, 10:41 pm

Planted lettuce, radish, spinach, and onions last week. They are starting to sprout. This is my first year and this is really exciting.
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Re: Have we past the last frost?

Post  Weatherkid on 4/15/2011, 10:00 am

thanks for all your answers, I think I'll wait until the first week in May to plant my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant outside.
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Re: Have we past the last frost?

Post  jercarol on 4/30/2011, 4:12 pm

I always wait till Mother's Day for Toms....ok I lied. I put in two early girl toms this week. They tend to do better in cool weather. Here in Elkton, MD we also don't have any frost forcasted. I have some large buckets that I can always throw over the top and hey it was only a few bucks if they die. But the early toms are worth the risk to me. I am keeping my 8 other toms in the house at night until Mother's Day.

All the best.

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Re: Have we past the last frost?

Post  Weatherkid on 4/30/2011, 7:54 pm

Yeah, I thought I'd be able to wait until May to plant my tomatoes...... but I couldn't. Smile I have four heirloom bradley transplants in the garden. I still have other cherokee purple and amish paste still waiting, along with eggplant and peppers.

Thanks for the advice, and it looks like we've definitely passed the last frost!!

Weatherkid
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