Knowing Your First and Last Frost or Freeze Dates

So, for a lot of you who read this blog, this information may be trivial.  It may seem incredibly simple, but for others, it will be helpful.

You see, not all of us are good about keeping a calendar or a garden plan or a journal reminding us of when the first frost hit last year and how our garden fared as a result.  I’ll raise my hand and admit to being one of the unorganized ones.


If you are trying to find your the frost or freeze dates for your area, here are a few great resources:

The Old Farmer’s Almanac - http://www.almanac.com/content/frost-chart-united-states – Who doesn’t love this resource?  Old-timey and traditional, you can usually trust a lot of what this annual almanac has to say.

Unfortunately for me, the Almanac doesn’t help much with frost and freeze dates.  Phoenix just gets a big ‘ol * and no dates.

Dave’s Garden - http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/ – This site is incredibly user friendly and touted as an international site aimed at helping gardener’s get information. 
Dave was a little more helpful than the almanac in getting me the info that I need.  According to Dave, we have about 319 frost-free growing days.  Anyone a little jealous yet? 
And then if you’re going to get real fancy and scientific, you can go to the National Climatic Data Cente - http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/climatenormals/climatenormals.pl?directive=prod_select2&prodtype=CLIM2001&subrnum%20to%20Freeze/Frost%20Data%20from%20the%20U.S.%20Climate%20Normals r and find more precise dates and probabilities for your area.  I was a little overwhelms with this probability chart but I’m sure people love having this level of data. 
What do you use to find your expected frost or freeze dates?  How does it inform your gardening?  
         
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Comments

  1. I’m a Master Gardener and I was told during my training what our frost free date and first frost dates are. So I would say calling your local extension center would be the best way to find this info.

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