Finding the Average Last Frost Date in
Spring for each zone is easy for us to determine based on MUCH
information on the Internet. And that's when it's really safe to
plant. HOWEVER, determining the last safe planting dates in Fall is not
nearly so easy to find and relies on more varied factors than in Spring, even dependable winter
snow cover in your area makes a difference.
The Customer must ultimately make this
decision on when to stop planting in Fall. If you order,
we assume you've checked that it's still safe to plant in your area.
We truly cannot try to determine that for each area and each order and
specific conditions where you might be going to plant (under an overhang,
near a brick wall, etc.) --
it's much too local and too hard to find information for every town in
the country! There is no one reliable source for such things.
And occasionally when we notice that it's to late to plant and contact the customer, they're going
to overwinter them in a greenhouse or sunroom!
Check with experienced gardeners, Extension Agents or
GOOD Nurseries or Garden Centers in your area.
But here's some guidelines:
You will find different answers to this
depending on where you look but in general, you should stop planting at
month before your ground freezes solid - or to make it simple,
Early to Mid Fall -- whatever that is for your area -- but not Late
Fall. In general, that corresponds with your first frost.
Often the first frost date is a reasonable last planting date. The
plants need at least a month to root in. If they aren't rooted in
well, they won't be able to take up moisture and they may get 'heaved' out
of the ground during freezes and thaws.
When is your average first Fall Frost?
Seeds has a great page with links to each state so you can check.
The first frost date roughly is about the time you should stop planting
-- about a month before the ground freezes solid.
NOAA Freeze/Frost Records for you area are helpful in knowing
average first fall frost dates.
We want you to be pleased with our plants
and personally love Early to Mid Fall planting and do almost all of our planting
then because we're too busy to plant in Spring.
But planting too
late in the Fall is inviting trouble!
If you use cold frames
to over-winter plants, that can make a difference if you have expertise
and a good set up. Furthermore, folks with the best of intentions
think they can over-winter plants inside. Over-wintering inside rarely works unless you actually have a greenhouse AND
then, plants that need a period of cold dormancy don't get it unless the
greenhouse is kept very cold, which kind of defeats the purpose of a
So, please plant in EARLY to MID-FALL -- it's a
great time to plant. We're not going to stop you from ordering but late Fall is probably not a good idea!
and Pete Sheuchenko