Last Frost Meltdown

Without naming names, I list some “average last frost dates” published on the internet by reputable gardening organizations.

             

Philadelphia           

April 14
April 15
April 29
May 5
May 7
     
     
Allentown, PA May 5
  May 19
     
     
Wilmington, DE April 13 (?)
April 25
     
     
Trenton, NJ April 29
(1/2 hour east
of Fordhook)
     
     
Fordhook May 5
(Doylestown, PA)
     
   
Pittsburgh June 8
     
     
Here is a good one:
New York City May 28
     
     
And last but not least:
Union, SC May 16

I was checking a couple weeks ago for planting dates to be sure I wasn’t in trouble with some very tender annuals. The location in South Carolina is in the Piedmont area, near my farm and, believe me, it’s hot there in May.

I feel sorry for the guys collecting “average last frost date” data. These were listed on web sites that came up in the first five minutes of a Google search. Looking them over, I got a headache. Weather is variable, but these averages seem wrong. Even taking wind velocity into account the calculation is not a very tricky problem. However, I thought airports kept these types of records. Aviation people are extraordinarily precise and accurate. The USDA was almost amusing: they indicated for zone 6 that the average would exist within a period from April 1 to April 30.

Maybe I’ve become a bit cynical, but I think the North American gardening community should be capable of producing a website with excellent weather data.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 at 9:56 pm and is filed under Original Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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