Mother’s Day is officially behind us. For many gardeners, this means that final frost dates are quickly approaching. For some, the planting season is well underway! With Spring easing into the warmer summer season, there’s so much to do to get your plants ready. Some seeds can be direct sowed, others need to wait for warmer evening temperatures, and don’t get us started on hardening off seedlings! This is the most important part of the season for timing out your garden, and where many plants need some extra support. Whether you’re itching to get your hands in the ground, or waiting for seedlings to be ready in your local garden center, we’re here to help you set your timer for the season.
Cool Season Seeds
Cool season seeds can be planted before final frost dates, and let you get an early start on your harvest! Many cold hardy plants will actually become sweeter after being exposed to frost, making them a tasty start to your Spring successes. You can plant radishes, carrots, beets, peas, beans, lettuce, kale, and spinach before your final frost date.
Harden off Seedlings
Many newer gardeners may not know that you need to acclimate your seedlings to the light and temperature changes of the day cycle. This is a process known as hardening off, and is an essential part of growing resilient plants. Seedlings should be hardened off approximately 1-2 weeks before planting outdoors. Many seedlings can be placed outdoors during the day for 2-4 hours before final frost to help acclimate them to sunlight and outdoor conditions, and allows you to plant sooner when your final frost date rolls around.
This is the approximate last date where frost will be present at night, and marks the beginning of the safe zone for outdoor planting. After the threat of frost is passed, warm-loving produce and plants can establish themselves happily in the soil. Though the final frost date is a universal marker for gardeners, the final frost date for each growing zone can vary greatly. To find your average final frost date, you can check here at The Farmer’s Almanac. PLEASE NOTE: Your final frost date is not a guarantee that there will not be frost past this date. Weather patterns are known to shift based on any number of phenomena, and your final frost date may actually be earlier or later than this estimation. Check your forecast for inclement weather and use your best judgement before planting.
Time to Get Planting
After your final frost date, it’s time to get in the ground! With evening temperatures above freezing, this is where your garden can take off. Warm season transplants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and zinnias can finally be planted. It's also time to direct sow warm season seeds like cucumbers, squash, melons, zucchini, and okra.
Your garden is in bloom! With plants and seeds ready to grow, our focus shifts from prep to providing. Deliver nutrients to developing produce and blooms with All-Purpose Fertilizer, Activated Compost, and BioActive Supercharger. For best results: use All-Purpose Fertilizer at planting and at blossom, water in BioActive Supercharger and Purple Cow CX-1 once every 7-10 days, and add in Activated Compost mid-season to support moisture retention during the dog days of summer.
Winter has been such a long and dreary season, and we're thrilled that the coldest days are behind us. The final frost is close to ending, if your final frost dates haven't already passed, and now is the time to get in the soil! There is still plenty of time to get started for the season, and we're here to help.