Monday, February 9, 2009

When to Start Planting: Last Frost-Free Dates

I live in the fridgid Northeast. For a transplanted Arizonan, it's really flipping cold up here. 

My raised garden bed that I built last fall is under two feet of snow. It will be a while until I can plant anything in there. 

However, you can begin planting now! Yes, even with almost two feet of snow on the ground, you can plant seeds in the dirt and watch the growth! Hallalujah! 

You can begin pre-planting seeds for transplants. In areas like the northeast, this is an excellent way to extend the growing season and begin harvesting earlier. 

Here's an even more detailed map of climate zones. I'm evidently in Zone 6b. Link to: Detailed Climate Zones by The Garden Helper. 

Start peppers and tomatoes three weeks before your climate zones last frost-free date. Here in Climate Zone 6b, that means my average frost date is April 15. (Such an auspicious day, anyway.) That means that I can start tomatoes and peppers in the end of March or beginning of April. 

Well, I can plan, anyway. 

Y'all folks who live in the southern tips of Texas, Florida, and Louisiana: start planting now! (You lucky ducks.) 

Good luck. 

TK Kenyon,  

Author of RABID and CALLOUS: Two novels about science and religion, with some sex and murder.

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