Return to the New England Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
First Frost Average Date in Boston

Posted by tpl108 E. MA (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 24, 05 at 13:01

Hi, just wondering what date y'all generally use for the first frost in Boston. I've gone through the past 20 years of weather data for the area and have figured out that the first FREEZE occurs on or about 11/9. However, as I understand it, a frost doesn't need such cold temps. Any advice would help as I've seen lots of conflicting dates.

Below is a link to a site about my container garden. At the bottom of the page is an entry about the first freeze date in Boston.

http://tedtedted.blogspot.com/

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

This help:

City Spring Fall
Boston 5/3 10/5
Greenfield 5/26 9/16
Haverhill 5/2 10/6
Hyannis 5/26 9/25
New Bedford 4/20 10/22
Rochester 5/22 9/24
Springfield 4/29 9/29

Source: "Climatography of the U.S. No. 20, Supplement No. 1", 1988, National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Farmer's Almanac lists some slightly different dates. Worcester appears to be the only Mass. city listed:

http://www.almanac.com/garden/frostus.php


VT


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

  • Posted by Cady 6b/Sunset34 MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 24, 05 at 16:40

Usually the first hard frost is at the end of October or start of November. I'm on the North Shore near the water, and for the past several years or more, the first frost has come on Oct. 31 or Nov. 1, or slightly after.

But, there is always mild weather well beyond that time. I just throw a tarp on the tomatoes and tender perennials, and usually get a couple or few more weeks of garden life out of them before there is a real freeze.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

Yeah, hard frost is usually after Halloween. That big orange October moon is still a great indicator of it. I know we had quite a few nights in recent Septembers where I've had to cover vegetation during cool nights. Obviously inland before coast.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

I am in line with Cady, in our coastal location. There are times when I still have geraniums in the windowboxes squeezing out a flower well into November. I've said this a number of times before, but it took me several years to understand that it stays warmer here longer than it did in more inland locations where I've resided. Conversely, I'm always surprised at LONG it takes spring to really settle in here.

As for the last frost date... historically I always think Memorial Day; but it's probably closer to 5/15. I tend to watch the longer range forecast to decide whether or not to "push it" when it comes to planting the windowboxes. This year I "pushed it" and was burned. I lost the majority of the Browallia and was unable to replace it. :( I'm missing it now.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

I live on top of a hill and escaped almost 2 weeks of frost last year...which were late anyway. I had a garden full of flowers until early November. My point is that your experience will depend on where you are. Gardeners more seasoned than I though always say to expect late frost in spring and early ones in the fall and you wont be dissapointed. Amazing how all the garden centers try and make us forget this.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

You didn't say what zone you are in. My first frost is generally around the 2nd week in October. I am quite inland and in low valley. Things slow down after that, but I can still pull out some color for awhile.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

Those dates for the city of Boston posted by Vermonster are not correct. The city of Boston does not reach 32 degrees, on average, until the first part of November and the last occurrence of a 32 degree temperature in the city in spring is early to mid April. Rural low lying areas away from the water in southern New England can expect an official growing season that may be shorter than the city of Boston by up to 60 days (one month later in spring and one month earlier in fall for the last and first occurrence of 32 degree temperatures, respectively). During clear, calm, nights the low lying areas tend to experience lower temperatures because of cold air drainage.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

Thanks for all the comments. I agree with rockman about the date of the first freeze. Looking at 20 years of data shows that it'll come around November 9 but can vary within 2.5 weeks on either side of that date.

However, Vermonster might be correct because he's talking about FROST not FREEZE. Frost happens around 36F and lower whereas freeze happens, of course, at 32F. As such, if the average freeze date is 11/9, one can certainly expect frost much sooner.

Thanks for all the help!
My garden blog -- tedtedted.blogspot.com


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

  • Posted by Cady 6b/Sunset34 MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 29, 05 at 16:28

Rockman is right. In fact, here on the North Shore, I've noticed that we often can garden beginning in mid-April without a frost until the first of November. And warm-enough weather persists after that to continue gardening if you cover your tender stuff for that Nov. 1 frost. In spring, even though it stays cool on the coast, we don't get freezing temps.

The Sunset climate map gives a more realistic overview of regional climates than the USDA map, it seems. We're in Sunset zone 34 in eastern Massachusetts, and the description says just what I've experienced about mid-April to early November.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

There is more detailed data here (PDF DOCUMENT):
http://www.umassgreeninfo.org/fact_sheets/plant_culture/freeze_frost_MA.pdf

Boston is not listed but if we look at Lawrence:
50% probability of 36 degrees: October 5th
50% probability of 32 degrees: October 20th
50% probability of 28 degrees: November 3rd

VT


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

wow, i live in the merrimack valley area and my first frost is uaually the 4th week in september with my last frost in may, i live in a river valley, and get wacked early, Boston is a bad weather indicator for the outside areas, totally different weather zone, (even though the experts don't say so) a few years back they were bosting about the extended growing season in nearby town like concord, and here i am looking at dead vines from weeks ago!-
so bottom-line it depends where you live, low areas experience frost first.
rural areas experience frost before the urban areas.
wy do they list the frost dates for cities when no one grows in the cities??


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

So how are we doing this year? It was 39 on my back porch this morning.

pm2


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

  • Posted by claire z6b MA Coastal (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 26, 07 at 11:57

About 54 degrees on the back deck and front porch this morning. It's only up to about 58 degrees now, in spite of the bright sun.

Strong east winds - beautiful day. I stopped at the local farmer's market this morning and the farmer told me he's lost two tents this week due to the winds (knocked over and broken).

The forecast calls for temps in the low 30's on Sunday and Monday, but that's inland - we're usually 4 or 5 degrees higher here on the immediate coast.

Claire


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

I brought some green tomatoes in yesterday and probably will get the rest in today. I just looked at the forecast for my area and Sunday night is supposed to get down to 35 and 34 the next day. What about plants that haven't gotten in the ground yet that I won't have a chance until next week to do? Would it help at all to throw a tarp over them, or bring them in the house?

pm2


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

  • Posted by claire z6b MA Coastal (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 26, 07 at 13:05

I said "The forecast calls for temps in the low 30's on Sunday and Monday, but that's inland - we're usually 4 or 5 degrees higher here on the immediate coast."

I should have said Sunday and Monday nights!.

I would throw a tarp over the plants rather than bring them into the house, which is way warmer than outdoors. The temperature shock could stress them out more than the cold will.

I used the floating row cover material to cover my houseplants on cold nights while they were still outdoors.

This material also makes nice floating ghosts for halloween decorations...

Claire


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

Thanks Claire, I am going to try to get most of them in the ground tomorrow morning and what ever is left will have to get the tarp treatment. I am keeping track of the temperature on my back porch every morning because often it is different than what the weathermen are reporting for my area.

Your halloween decorated house must be cute.. [g]


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

I have had several readings of 34 degrees over the last month, but no frost to speak of in my garden. The cranberry bogs are a different story. Because of the low elevation we have had temperatures down to 22 degrees on our bogs. Thankfully all our bogs are picked as of this morning. 6 weeks of 7 days a week, 11 hour days. Thank God it's over for this year.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

tomakers...that is a Looonnnngggg six weeks!! I will think of you on Thanksgiving and be very thankful for my cranberry sauce! :-) pm2


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

  • Posted by claire z6b MA Coastal (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 27, 07 at 20:20

tomakers said:

"Thankfully all our bogs are picked as of this morning. 6 weeks of 7 days a week, 11 hour days. "

posted at 4:01 AM!

You can sleep now.

Claire


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

I live on a hill in the Merrimack Valley of Mass. My yard is often frost-free when those down in the valleys near the rivers in my town are not. I thought we might get a freeze last night (Oct 28), but today the impatiens plants in my garden are still alive (though they haven't been blooming for some time), and their water-filled stems always burst in a freeze.

Seems to me that the first freeze comes considerably later now than it did in the '40s when I was a child, though I may be wrong about this. Anyone know?

Today at noon it's still only 43 degrees.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

In my northern Middlesex county town we had frost finally last night (Oct 28th). Kind of relieved... now I can dig up my dahlia tubers.


 o
RE: First Frost Average Date in Boston

Yes, hills make a lot of difference!!

I am in a low spot in Nashoba Valley and I woke up to 22 degrees this morning!! On the Worcester radio station they were reporting upper 30's. I wish the weather folk would have alerted about that last night. They only predicted "around 30". Probably too excited about Red Sox! I might have brought in a few other things if I knew it was going to be that cold.

My impatiens were gone a few weeks ago, but some of the tougher stuff hung on. I'm sure its all gone now. I love the cleanup phase. Its so low-key compared to the hustle and bustle of the growing season.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the New England Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here