Ready to Plant? When to Expect the Last Freeze
by David Moran, on Mar 29, 2018 2:50:22 PM
Are you getting anxious to plant flowers and vegetables in your garden? If you haven't passed the last freeze of the season, you may run into issues. Find out more about when the last freeze is for your area and what plants you can put in the soil ahead of time.
Freezes are classified into three categories; light, moderate and severe. A light freeze occurs between 29°F and 32°F; when temperatures are within this range, the most tender plants are damaged. Moderate freezes occur when temperatures range 25°F-28°F; here most vegetation has some degree of damage. Below 24°F, most plants are heavily damaged. Below is a map of the average last freezes across the United States.
If you're anxious to begin planting but don't want to wait for the last freeze of the season, there are some plants, such as pansies, hostas, and primrose, that will be able to survive a freeze. There are also several types of vegetables that can withstand freezing temperatures. Spinach, parsnips, lettuce, and cabbage can be particularly hardy in cold weather. Lettuce can survive in temperatures down to 10°F and parsnips as low as 0°F. In some cases, crops such as oranges can be protected from freezes by spraying them with water ahead of time.
Several factors can determine how well a plant withstands a freeze. One is the age of the plant; younger plants can typically withstand a broader range of temperatures. Other factors include the location of the plant and whether or not the tree has bloomed. Trees that are dormant are typically more able to withstand a freeze than those that are beginning to bloom or have bloomed. Less damage from freezes also occurs when trees are planted on westward or southward facing slopes.
While many wait until after the last freeze to start planting, it may not be necessary depending on what you want to plant. Do your research and if you're planning to add annuals to your landscaping before the last freeze for your area, just be prepared to replace them should temperatures drop. More information on freezes can be found on Frontier's Agriculture pages. Try a free trial of their products today!