Frost Tolerant Plants
Remember, here in the Miami Valley, our frost free date is May 15th as established by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones. This means that after this date, in most years, we will not see any more killing frosts. Since we still have the threat of frost, let’s plant frost tolerant plants.
Annual bedding plants must be kept at temperatures above 45º F to survive. However, some annual plants can tolerate frost (not a freeze) and still live. A few flowers may suffer but the plant itself will be okay. These may be planted now and covered with fabric – not plastic – when temps fall below 35° F. An added bonus of these plants is they actually perform better in cooler temperatures!
All the Cole crops can be planted from transplants or ‘starts’. It is time to plant others from seed like carrots, radishes, beets, peas, lettuce, onions, potatoes and spinach. All the bare root vegetables like rhubarb and asparagus can be planted when the ground is workable.
There are a number of annuals that can be planted now that will tolerate frost. Pansies, violas, snapdragons, and dianthus provide fabulous color. Many perennials including english daisies, Mt. pinks, and many more tolerate frost also and all these early plantings will become well established while the weather is cool. This will get them off to a fabulous start for which they will reward you, especially if it stays cool with plenty of rain. Trees and shrubs are great to plant at this time of year also.
Don’t go crazy from spring fever. Get out and plant some frost free varieties today!
The gardening team at Meadow View