When Can I Expect the First Frost?
Weather conditions play an important role in the success or devastation of a garden. In order to assure that your plants are not damaged by frost, you need to learn about the expected frost dates in your area. There are several ways to acquire this information.
You can utilize the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to find out the expected frost dates for your area. Simply by entering your zip code, you can obtain the information you need.
Some websites have a map that indicates the expected frost dates for various regions. This can be used as a general guide, but you should be aware that an early frost could occur prior to the dates they have listed for your area.
Many gardeners turn to the almanac for planting, growing, harvesting and weather related information. Almanacs are useful as a general guide, but you should also check resources that are more specific to your location.
Your local weather forecaster can be one of your best resources for determining when to expect the first frost. The information they provide is specific to your area, but there can still be a variation in precisely which areas get frost. The elevation of your property is a factor in whether or not you will have frost.
If you are a new gardener, one of your ideal resources is not currently available to you, but it can be in future years. If you keep a garden journal listing important dates such as the date of the first and last frost each year, you will have a more accurate frost date than you can obtain from any other resource.
Because nature is never totally predictable, you should always be prepared for an early frost and take measures to protect your plants.