From the ABC 7 Weather team

Gardeners Go Ahead: Free of Frost?

April 24, 2013 - 07:38 AM
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Tips and tools to help you decide when it's safe to plant those veggies.

Today is the day gardeners get the go ahead to plant their veggies in Northern Virginia. April 24th is the average last frost date in Dulles, VA.  We had a close call with frost over the weekend, but it appears that threat is now over.  Frost develops much like dew when the temperature is 32 degrees or below. The greater concern is for a hard freeze.  Here's a look at the Nation's average last freeze dates.  

Average last 28 degree day

A hard freeze is when the temperature drops to 28 degrees for a few hours, killing plants.  With warmer temps in the forecast, it appears the metro is safe.  Here is a great tool to calculate your average frost, freeze and hard freeze dates from the National Climatic Data Center.  Just find the state and then city closest to you.  As for what to plant, you might be able to sneak in some cool weather crops still like lettuce and sugar snap peas. But, you are now likely safe to go with other seasonal favorites like green beans and tomatoes.   The USDA has recently changed their planting zones to account for climate change. Here is an interactive map to calculate your planting hardiness zone.    Spring showers are in the forecast tonight. 

Futurecast This Evening

We could use the rain.  Check out how dry the region has been this spring.  

Percent of Average Spring Precipitation

We are roughly 60-80% of our normal spring precipitation. Unfortunately, we are only expecting about 1/10th to 1/4 of an inch tonight. This might have you wondering if you need to water  your lawn.  The Northeast Regional Climate Center has a great calculator to help you decide by entering in your zip code. Happy Gardening!


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