Kentucky Gardeners, Here’s When You Can Expect the Final Frost of Winter
No one has a greener thumb than my mother. I sure wish it was genetic! I do love to be in the garden planting flowers and pulling weeds, but unless a plant is super low maintenance, it probably isn't gonna make it in our yard.
The past couple of weeks have been what we call a "false spring" in Kentucky, meaning we are going to experience a drop in temperatures again before we make it to the real thing. If you are counting down the days until it is time to walk through a glorious greenhouse to pick out flowers or starts for your vegetable garden, here is the light at the end of the wintry tunnel.
Are Final Frost Predictions for 2024 Accurate?
The Farmer's Almanac lists estimates of final frost dates from each city in Kentucky on their website. Using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information, these are not exact, but they are able to get a good prediction based on historical averages. "The probability of a frost occurring after the spring frost date or before the fall frost date is 30%, which means there is still a chance of frost occurring before or after the given dates!"
When is the Final Frost Date of 2024 in Kentucky?
For Owensboro, April 10th is listed as the date of our last expected frost. It's a good thing they include that 30% disclaimer because I'm not so sure I trust that completely. We have definitely had cold weather and even snow after that date in recent history. In 2021, it snowed on the 21st of April.
When Can You Safely Start Your 2024 Spring Garden in Kentucky?
Luckily, my mother actually has a tried and true method for knowing when it is safe to plant outside. It requires a little bit of patience, but it has never steered me wrong. We always wait until Mother's Day to safely pot annuals and get other plants in the ground. If you are starting from seed, you can plan to get a head start indoors by reviewing the Farmer's Almanac Planting Calendar which lists the first plant date and last "plant by" date so you can get full life out of your crop before the first frost of autumn/winter. It is even broken down by type of vegetable.
You can visit the Farmer's Almanac website and enter your zip code for the final frost prediction in your area. Or if you're in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, you can just trust my mama's green thumb. Happy Planting!
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Gallery Credit: Anuradha Varanasi