When Should I Plant My Garden Outside?

When Should I Plant My Garden Outside?

Spring, bright warm weather pushing beautiful flowers up. Birds singing. Bees Buzzing. But sometimes reality is a little different. This year, my zone 6a garden is still seeing snow, and the forecast has more freezing temperatures to come.

So today we are going to talk about how you know when to put plants outside or start seeds in your garden.

You may remember that roughly April 18, I put my tomato plants into my garden last year. This paid off great dividends, as I had ripe tomatoes by mid June, and giant tomato plants. This year; however, I doubt that will be possible. Last year I was already hardening off my plants by now and the weather has not been good enough to allow that so far this year.

If you look at you seed packet, it likely references a “last frost date”, and depending on the type of seed it suggests starting the plant either before or after that date. But what is a last frost date really? As we are seeing, every year is not like the one before it, and some years, you keep getting cold weather late into the Spring.

So yes, by all means follow the guides, and in the world of google it is not hard to know what your average frost date is: just enter your zip code and “last frost date”and you will likely find it. Personally, I like to use the farmer’s almanac website at almanac.com, they have a place where you can enter your zip code, and actually get a guide as to when to start any of a number of different types of plants based upon your average frost dates. The caveat however is that this is only a guide. For plants that do not tolerate frost, I strongly reccomend looking at your 10 day forecast when that average last frost date comes and make sure that there is nothing dipping even close to freezing 10 days out. What is close to freezing? I personally think overnight lows dipping below 38 would be enough to keep me from planting tomatoes or peppers.

Of course, for cold hardy varieties, you are probably already to get them planted out.

Also, if you are risk adverse but want to get those plants started, winter sowing, as we discussed in an earlier video, can be used to jumpstart the season without the risk of losing a crop to a late frost.

So, be smart about your planting. The warm weather will come! And I am looking forward to having you with me for another great season!

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2 Comments

  1. Mohamed Mohsin on October 7, 2019 at 4:14 am

    عمل جيد شكرا لك على المجهود الرائع

  2. Debra George on October 7, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Great info. It’s cold As heck in NYC. Unfortunately, the same thing happened last year but I did very well starting inside..

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