Garden Club: Last Freeze in Fort Collins Is Never 100 Percent
Cabin fever is definitely in full force come April and all us gardening freaks can't wait to get our hands in the dirt. But the last freeze in Fort Collins is never 100 percent. We're told to hold off planting until at least Mother's Day: we never mind this rule because we live in Colorado. We've had fires start as early as the first week of May to building destroying snow falls in the same time period, so what is a cabin fever gardener to do?
There are, of course, some plants that you should have in the ground already, as they are weather hardy and need the gestation time such as cauliflower and potatoes.
Now we move on to the more delicate items that we love to plant. Just like you, I too was so disappointing with my Mother's Day in that I was not able to plant my flowers or even shop for them, which has been a long standing tradition in my life, but now we can shine. It's time to recreate the feeling. If you haven't been to the nursery yet after Friday rains, Saturday is our day! The soil will be moist and the sun will warm Fort Collins to 75 degrees. (next up boating)
If the Mother's Day rule doesn't work for you, how about following the annual freeze chart. The true accuracy is unknown, but it seems pretty on target from where I'm sitting. Each year in Colorado it's touch and go, but a good standard of thinking when it comes to gardening is not to plant until after May 4. This is when, statistically, we will see our last freeze. Obviously, this year has taught new comers to the state and some of us stubborn and anxious gardeners, that isn't always the case.
THE FREEZE CHART:
- April 30 presents an 80 percent chance of freezing temperatures
- May 6 comes with a 40 percent
- May 11 you still have a 20 percent chance it will freeze
- May 15 think you're out of the woods, nope, statistically there is still a 10 percent chance we could get a freeze
The frost free growing season is about 151 days. After taking a look at the forecast, I am reasonably sure that planting this weekend is a go-go for me.
Plant at your own risk and have fun!