Fool’s Spring: What It Means & What It Looks Like

I guess it’s appropriate for us to talk about fool’s spring today! If you live in the Interior, we hope you didn’t have any plants out yet!

In cold climates, it’s exceptionally common for things to warm up about a month before that last frost. We often see 50 to 60 degree days and it finally starts to feel like summer has arrived! You might be really, really tempted to try and get a jump start on your garden. What another month of summer might bring!

And then, well, hello February 64th! This can happen all the way up to our last frost. And in some years? Even past that! This is called fool’s spring and it happens almost every season.

This is the biggest reason that we teach not to plant anything until at least two weeks to last frost. Even then, that’s only if you’ve reviewed your 10 day forecast and it looks really good! We always limit those early plantings to cold hardy and frost tolerant plants only, since they’ll easily handle a bit of late snowfall.

In general, you can sort of read the seasons. If it’s a super late spring and temperatures just aren’t warming up, chances are high for late last frosts. If you get to two weeks to last frost and your back yard doesn’t look like this? Chances are low for late frosts. But, remember, even these are guidelines and not absolutes. The north is gonna north.

We do sympathize for any of you that might have lost some plants to this or a similar event, now or in the past. It’s disheartening, especially if you’ve made the effort to grow from seed. But, it’s probably one of the most valuable lessons you can learn about northern gardening.

Oh, and if you’re in flight with hardening off some plants? You can skip a day or few in between and just pick up where you left off. Days like these definitely aren’t ideal for hardening off!

That’s All We Wrote!

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