When should I plant my seeds?   First and Last Frost Date Chart | Garden Outside The Box

When should I plant my seeds? First and Last Frost Date Chart

When should I plant my seeds or transplant my seeds outdoors is a common question I hear often.  A simple answer is - it will be determined by your first or last frost date.

So what exactly is a frost date?

Frost dates are the day of the year when the temperature will dip below freezing, resulting in frost on the ground.  Usually the temperature starts dropping daily before this happens.  Some crops like carrot, kale, spinach, and lettuce can withstand a little frost however others wilt almost immediately, like tomatoes, eggplant, and basil.

In spring, we have a ‘last frost date’, and in the fall we have a ‘first frost date’. These dates vary depending on various factors like latitude and longitude, altitude, and weather patterns that change yearly. It is hard to pinpoint an exact date so it is safe to assume that freezing temperatures are possible 2 weeks before the first frost date and 2 weeks after the last.

The dates in-between the last and first frost dates are days when it is safe to plant

Also you should make sure you will be able to harvest at least 2 weeks before your last frost date.   Ever end up with a ton of unripen green tomaotes?  Hope these charts will help.

Harvest at least 2 weeks before: (give or take 2 weeks)

First Frost Date Chart listed by State for Garden Harvesting

Safe to plant your seeds outdoors: (give or take 2 weeks)

Last Frost Date Chart listed by State for Gaden Planting