Determining when to plant in the spring can be harder than predicting the ups and downs of the stock market. Part science and part superstition, deciding when to plant is the biggest decision of the year if you farm for a living. For the rest of us, it usually just means a little extra work and another stop at the nursery if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Each region of the country is different, and even within a specific area there may be large fluctuations due to factors like altitude and terrain. That said, the average date of the last spring frost and recommended times to put out summer plants like tomatoes and corn in the lower 48 states are given below.
|Region||Average Last Freeze||Plant Summer Garden|
|Gulf Coast||February 1 – March 1||March 1 – April 1|
|Southeast||March 1 – April 1||March 15 – April 15|
|Midwest||April 1 – May 1||April 7 – May 7|
|North||May 1 – June 1||May 15 – June 15|
For more detailed information, check out the maps on these websites:
I know there are several plants that repel insects naturally for around the patio. I’d love to know what they are and when to plant them.
Citronella (mosquitos) , marigolds,African Blue Basil,Rosemary, mints and or anise oil/licorice (fennel) bearing plants…most herbs will give off aromatic as well as insect repelling aromas…if need be crush a few leaves to release the essential oils into the atmosphere, the atomization of the oils will aid in the repelling process. Tiki torches w/citronella oil are effective and somewhat romantic. Experiment until you discover what woks best for you. Good Luck
Soil temperature, soil temperature, soil temperature. That’s the best way to figure out when to plant…
Good point! You might want to check out our article on How to Measure Soil Temperature for Planting and our video on How to Test Soil Temperature in Your Garden.
Thanks for the info! Very helpful
can you give me a list of flowers and shrubs that will bloom all summer and fall in the cold wisconsin weather send me a list of those that will not freeze out
I loved the Carolina Jasmine that Chelsea planted for the trellis around her air conditioner. I have a beautiful Jasmine on my fence, and it is blooming now. I am sure she will love it. I enjoy all of your shows, especially when I see my son or grandchildren on them.
Glad to hear you enjoy the show, and thanks for the feedback about your jasmine vine.
How is the best way to determine soil temperature? I know by a thermometer, but where does one get a soil thermometer?
Cold weather plants can be brought outside earlier than the listed dates!
Absolutely! It’s true that planting guidelines vary from zone to zone.
What works in one area doesn’t necessarily work in another area.
We recommend checking guidelines for specific zones.
Thanks for your comment!