Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chapter 19 - When Can I Plant My Tomatoes?

What's a Frost Date?

"Wait until after the frost date before you plant tomatoes,"  is what you'll hear old time gardeners say.

The frost date is the last day a frost is likely to happen before the weather warms. A frost is when the temperature dips to 32 degrees.  A frost will damage or possible kill frost sensitive plants like tomatoes, peppers and many annuals.

The University of Virginia came up with a nifty climatology chart for Virginia.  It lists frost dates with temperatures plotted for 36, 32 and 28 degrees so you can plan, predict and prepare for temperature fluctuations.

When the temperature is 36 degrees or above, those flats of bedding plants you bought will do just fine. At 32 degrees, however, there's a frost coming and you'll have to provide protection for your plants.  If the temperature is likely to dip to 28 degrees, you're going to have a killing "freeze" so you'd better bring those cold sensitive plants inside.

Not gardening in Virginia?
Other states will have something similar.  Google "frost date" for your state.

To download the University of Virginia "Growing Season Climate Chart" go to:

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