When Does The Frost Leave

Gardeners need to know; “When is the last day of frost”? They need to know so they can grow – plants, that is. Personal growth is something else. Whidbey is a big enough island that there’s more than one answer for how to handle gardens and fields.

Whidbey is long enough to be south of Everett and north of Canada, from the wet weather of the Puget Sound Convergence Zone in the south to looking out to the rain shadow around Coupeville to the view out to open ocean up north which also gets arctic winds from the Fraser River outflow in Canada. Frost? It depends on where you look.

Fortunately, there are maps for that. There are probably several sources. The local gardening clubs, agricultural extension services, and other government agencies that have a view or two; but here’s a simple on from plantmaps.com

But, it’s spring. How can we have frost? Whidbey is more than halfway between the equator and the pole. The island straddles the 48 degree latitude line. Add in polar air and water and frost can happen later than many people expect.

Don’t tell the flowers, though. Even without gardeners, critters have made sure that bulbs were planted so daffodils are up. Tended gardens are showing tulips, which is natural considering the tulip fields around La Conner on the mainland. Plum trees are blossoming. The list goes on.

The list goes on, but just a few days ago ice was being scraped off cars, and this weekend’s forecast is for snow. Ironically, the forecast may be for snow, which can be an upper atmosphere event, even though the ground isn’t expected to get below freezing.

Now, about having a greenhouse…

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