MN Median Frost Dates

soilent_greenSeptember 16, 2013

It is that time of year, thought I would post a link that shows a table of Minnesota median frost dates by region.

The fourth column of numbers is what you want to be looking at for the likely median first frost date in fall for your area.

Does not matter right now, but FYI the third column of numbers is what you want to be looking at for the likely median last frost date in spring for your area.

BTW the seventh column shows the average length of your growing season, in days, if you do not already know this information. Helpful when deciding which varieties to grow in your garden. :)

http://climate.umn.edu/text/historical/frost.txt

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ukmuminusa(4)

Thanks, for this link. I just moved here so this will be very helpful for planting my new vegetable garden in the spring.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 1:36PM
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soilent_green

Welcome to Minnesota!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 10:56AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I have been confused and questioning myself about this lately. They were saying on the news the average first frost was something like the first week in October. Now I had it in my head it was anytime from the second week of September. I went on vacation from 9/13-23 and got everything ready to cover in case of frost and indeed we did have a very cool night between 36 and 39 that week. As for in May, I have seen killing frosts right up to Memorial Day and never leave any tender plants exposed without row cover.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 10:31PM
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soilent_green

IMHO I do not think they were talking first frost date, they were talking median frost date. Perhaps you misunderstood how they termed it but more likely the talking heads themselves misspoke or misinterpreted the data - happens all the time.

In my region the median fall frost date is October 1. For my county the median fall frost date is around September 28 (specifics unknown due to spotty record keeping). The earliest recorded fall frost occurred in my county on September 09. No data available that I could find regarding the latest first frost date but I would guess it to be around the last week of October (although the first frost may have been even later during the mild fall of 1940 - the year of the Armistice Day blizzard).

Around here approximately 98 percent of first frosts have occurred in the four week period starting September 14 so that is the guide I use. I consider first frost a possibility (but unlikely) after the first week in September. I consider first frost to be a definite probability any time after the second week in September, so I start watching weekly outlooks and weather trends closely and I prepare accordingly. If it does not occur until October that is great and I consider those precious extra weeks a bonus, although that bonus delays fall garden cleanup which can be problematic for me.

I think that the way you have been thinking regarding fall frost has been correct all along...

Nice to hear from you, Minnie. Hope your gardening was successful this year.
-Tom

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:20PM
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fitzerroneous(z4 MN)

Gotta love Duluth. See the difference between Duluth Airport and Duluth Harbor? If you're not familiar with Duluth, they're less than seven miles apart. Yet the Harbor has an extra 47 days in the growing season. Thanks, Lake Superior! It never fails to amaze me.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 12:18PM
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soilent_green

Yes, Duluth Harbor is amazing. I also find Grand Marais to be amazing as well. Much shorter growing season than Duluth Harbor but pretty decent for being so far north, and only ten days shorter than mine in southwestern MN.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 1:54PM
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