|Dear Weather Watcher,|
On March 29, 1921, residents of Washington, D.C., started their day feeling the warmth of a spring Sun. In fact, at 82°F, the temperature was well above average for that time of year. By the end of the day, however, the temperature had dropped 56 degrees, to a frigid 26°F.
March is named for the Roman god of war, Mars. Had you lived in D.C. at the time, you may have felt like March was aptly named and was waging war on spring. March, however, is also a time of transition. This year, the spring equinox occurs on March 20 at 5:58 p.m., officially ushering in spring. It’s also in March (and early April) when most of the country will see the last spring frost and many of us will gather our rakes and hoes and spades and seeds and get our gardens into the ground.
Of course, you can’t talk about planting without talking about the weather, and that last spring frost date is a vital part of a successful garden. It takes only a light freeze to kill tender plants, and temperatures a mere 4 degrees below freezing may be widely destructive to most plants.
When are those last spring frost dates? Your local geography plays a big role, but generally speaking, if you live in these locations, it’s almost (or might already be) time to grow:
- The last spring frost in Mobile, Alabama, is March 6.
- In Savannah, Georgia, the last spring frost is March 15, and it’s 2 days later, March 17, in Monroe, Louisiana, and Charleston, South Carolina.
- Moving into April, the last spring frost in Athens, Georgia, and Lawton, Oklahoma, is on April 3. It’s April 5 in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and April 6 in Eureka, California, while in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the date of the last spring frost is April 8.
Live in Omaha? Cedar Rapids? Somewhere else? You’ll have to take a look at this year’s Old Farmer’s Almanac to find out when you can expect the last frost of the season. Don’t worry, though: You get a brand-new copy of the Almanac as part of your Old Farmer’s Almanac Weather Club Charter Membership.