Buehner: ‘Garden-ready’ weather approaching as overnight frost dwindles

Apr 2, 2024, 6:58 AM

garden-ready weather...

Participants at University of Washington's Climate-Ready Landscape Plants Project. (Photo courtesy of University of Washington)

(Photo courtesy of University of Washington)

The recent warm, early spring days have made gardeners itching for “garden-ready” weather — a time to begin putting seasonal plants outside in pots and flower beds. But is the threat of frost gone? In short, not yet.

The warm sunshine may be tempting to begin planting more vulnerable plants outdoors. Yet, any clear skies this month also means nights can dip to freezing.

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Looking at local historical western Washington weather records, more urban areas like Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and Everett have odds for any freezing weather to diminish around the last week of April. In more outlying areas like Monroe, Bellingham, Bremerton and Shelton, May 1 is a good bet. For the usual colder spots — like Olympia and Arlington — they will be “garden-ready” just a week later. These differences reflect the local climates throughout the region.

For most, it is around May 1 that seasonal plants can be put in the ground. Just monitor the weather forecast as the end of April approaches. In addition, keep in mind with longer springtime days, soil temperatures will gradually warm and help with root growth.

More from Ted Buehner: ‘Sunny, unseasonably warm’ spring weather through Tuesday

This end-of-frost season guidance works for much of western Washington. Just keep an eye on the upcoming weather forecasts before putting plants in the ground or moving them outside. Hang in there a bit longer before the threat of frost is minimal. Best wishes for a brilliant garden this year!

Ted Buehner is the KIRO Newsradio meteorologist. You can read more of Ted’s stories here and follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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