First fall frost date

First fall frost date DEFAULT

When will we see the first fall frost in Maryland?

To find your average first frost date, enter your location or zip code into the frost date app from The National Gardening Association:

You will receive a chart like in the example below:

Frederick, MD10%30%50%70%90%
First 32°FOct 13Oct 23Oct 30Nov 5Nov 15

The chart indicates a 10% chance that the temperature will go down to 32°F on October   There is a 90% chance that it will be 32°F on November The data is derived from the – U.S. Climate Normals from NOAA.

Two things to keep in mind:

  1. The likelihood of frost will vary between landscapes in the same town or even neighborhood, due to many factors such as, changes in wind, elevation, and proximity to buildings and water;
  2. The surest way to know when the first frost is expected is to closely monitor weather conditions using weather websites or your local news reports.

Why do gardeners care about the first frost? 

Very tender annual plants like basil, tomato, cucumber, pepper, zinnias, and marigolds are damaged or killed by freezing temperature. Plan to gather your final harvest before the first significant frost. Pumpkins, winter squash, white potatoes, and sweet potatoes can also be injured by a heavy frost. Cold temperatures will improve the flavor and texture of kale, collards, cabbage, and turnip greens. Bring tender indoor plants and annual flowers like geraniums and begonias indoors before the first frost if you plan to keep them growing indoors through the winter.

Plant Hardiness Zone Map of Canada

Canada Hardiness Zones

The ‘Plant Hardiness Zone Map of Canada’ outlines the different zones within Canada in which various types of trees, shrubs and plants will most likely survive. It is based on the average climatic conditions of each area and is an excellent starting point if you are wondering if a particular plant will over-winter (survive the coolest temperatures) in your area.

By using this map, you can choose the best plants that will be more likely to thrive in your location. For example, when Veseys lists a perennial plant as being suitable for Zones , this means that if you live in an area within that range, this plant would be suitable for your location.

The data and zone map information here simply reflects the most recent data collected and presented by Natural Resources Canada. Gardeners should understand that this map is a guide only – not a guarantee of gardening success, as climatic conditions are constantly changing and there are many other factors that can affect the success and failure of plants. As well as using this map for reference, we recommend consulting other gardeners who have ‘hands-on’ experience of weather and gardening patterns in your area.

Along with year-to-year variations in weather, microclimates can also play a role in determining the right plants for your garden. Microclimates, which are small areas of varying weather conditions within larger zones, can be caused by local geography of the area such as hills and valleys as well as variations of solar and wind exposure. Even buildings and pavement in urban areas can create relatively small microclimates that can potentially produce different gardening results.

The newly amended Canadian Hardiness Zone map is divided into ten major zones: the hardiest is 0 and the mildest is 9 (the southern tip of Vancouver Island). Relatively few plants are suited to zones 0 and 1.

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Your First Fall Frost Date is Coming: Here's What You Need to Know

In your garden, you may have all kinds of gorgeous annuals, tropical plants, veggies, and herbs that you'd like to enjoy for as long as possible before winter sets in. But once air temperatures drop to 36°F or below, the leaves of these plants will wither and blacken, bringing your garden party to a halt. Exactly when that might occur varies from year to year and from region to region, but finding out your average first fall frost date will help you know when to expect things to get cold enough to damage or kill your plants. That way, you can make plans to bring frost-sensitive plants indoors and clean up your garden for the winter. Luckily, there are several resources to help you figure out when to do that.

Credit: Illustration by Waterbury Publications Inc

First Freeze Map and Average Frost Dates

To get started, find where you live on the map above. It shows six different time periods, each spanning about a month from the end of June to the end of December. Each of these is color-coded to the regions where the first frost can happen during that range of dates. For example, if you live in Ohio, you may get your first fall frost sometime between September 30 and October

If you'd like to narrow down your window of time a bit more, this handy online tool created by the National Gardening Association can help you find first frost dates by ZIP code. It uses weather data from the National Centers for Environmental Information but packages it so you see just the numbers that apply to your area.

Find Your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Another helpful resource is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. It shows how cold your region can get in the winter. You can search by ZIP code or your state to find your USDA Zone. Your Zone number can help you know which plants will be hardy in your area and likely to survive your winter weather, including your first fall frost. The current version of the USDA map was created in and is the latest in a long line of maps showing averages of the coldest winter temperatures.

Related:The Secret to Planting a Gorgeous Garden is Knowing Your Hardiness Zone


Your yard, or even a particular spot in it, may experience frost well before others in your neighborhood. This is because of microclimates, which are caused by factors like elevation that affect air temperatures near the ground. If you live at the bottom of a hill, slope, or valley, the cold air will flow down to you, making your property colder than the surrounding ones, and your first frost will happen earlier. Likewise, a sheltered spot may not have frost until several weeks after other areas. Keep this in mind when a light frost is predicted; your garden just might get by unscathed until temperatures drop even more.

close up of zinnia with frost on petals
Credit: Sandy Sarsfield/Getty Images

Plants That Won't Survive a First Fall Frost

Most annuals and tender perennials die off when Jack Frost comes around. If it's only a light frost, sometimes you can keep your geraniums or bedding plants going a bit longer if you cover them overnight with an old sheet or towel. Uncover them when temperatures rise the next day. This goes for your pots of fall mums, too, which can take a light frost but not a hard freeze.

Check the tags of any plants you're growing in containers. Those listed as USDA Zones 9 to 14, such as coleus, elephant ears, and begonias, can be brought into a garage or shed before a light frost. When the weather warms up again, you can move them back outside to enjoy a little longer. 

If you like to move your houseplants like philodendrons and tropical ferns outside for the summer, know that they will be damaged when night temperatures cool to 45°F&#x;50°F. If you want to keep them going, bring them indoors well before the first frost. 

Many herbs and summer vegetables won't tolerate much frost. So harvest those remaining tomatoes (even the green ones); cut bouquets of dahlias, zinnias, and marigolds; make pesto with the last of your basil; pickle the cucumbers; or pick a pint of peppers when a cold snap is coming. Then say goodbye to your summer garden friends, cut down the plants, and put them on the compost pile. It&#x;s much more pleasant to do the cutting before a freeze turns these plants black and slimy. You can leave cool-season crops like lettuce and potatoes a little longer, but harvest the produce before heavy frost at 28°F or lower damages them.


"Frost" and Freeze Dates


The fall of has been warm across the Mid-South. Across the Mid-South at our climate sites; Jackson, Tennessee, had the lowest temperature this fall on October 22 of 36 degrees. Depending on the moisture that morning there may have been a frost. Most other places in the Mid-South haven't been below 40 degrees.
In looking at past data we are just about the point in the year were locations are seeing their average time for the first freeze, yet many haven't even had temperatures in the 30s yet. So here is a look at typical "frost" and freeze dates for the climate sites in the Mid-South.

Here are the earliest and latest "frost" and freeze dates along with the average date for the first "frost" or freeze in the fall and the last "frost" or freeze date in the spring.

  • The freeze date is the date of the minimum temperature being 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • The "frost" date is the date of the minimum temperature being 36 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Note: Frost is also dependent on moisture so this "frost" date is just an estimate.

"Frost" Data

First Fall "Frost"

MemphisSept 29, Dec 1, Nov 2
Jackson, TNSept 22, Nov 9, Oct 17
Jonesboro, ARSept 21, Nov 20, Oct 21
Tupelo, MSSept 24, Dec 1, Oct 24
NWS Memphis - East MemphisOct 4, Nov 25, Oct 25


Last Spring "Frost"


MemphisFeb 21, May 4, March 29
Jackson, TNMarch 22, May 4, April 12
Jonesboro, ARMarch 16, May 26, April 11
Tupelo, MSMarch 11, May 19, April 8
NWS Memphis - East MemphisMarch 8, May 4, April 9




Freeze Data


First Fall Freeze

MemphisOct 16, Dec 11, Nov 12
Jackson, TNOct 4, Nov 28, Oct 28
Jonesboro, AROct 7, Dec 14, Nov 3
Tupelo, MSOct 3, Dec 2, Nov 4
NWS Memphis - East MemphisOct 9, Nov 28, Nov 7


Last Spring Freeze


MemphisFeb 12, Apr 25, Mar 19
Jackson, TNMar 17, Apr 25, Apr 5
Jonesboro, ARMar 4, May 6, Mar 30
Tupelo, MSFeb 26, May 4, Mar 28
NWS Memphis - East MemphisMar 4, Apr 16, Mar 28


Frost date fall first

Frost Date Chart: First and Last Frost Dates Across North America

Understanding Your Growing Season: Light Frost vs. "Killing Frost," "Hard Frost," or "Freeze"

When late fall arrives, you may start to see frost on the ground when you look out the window in the morning. Depending on how cold it is, you may see some frost before you see a freeze. What's the difference?

  • A frost (ice crystals forming on surfaces) generally happens when the air temperature is between degrees F. 
  • A freeze happens when air temperature dips below 32 degrees F. The colder it gets, the more damage you'll see to annual and perennial plants. A hard freeze is usually between degrees F, and a killing freeze is 24 degrees F and below. 

In the fall, we'll ship perennial plants and flower bulbs to you at the right time to plant in your zone!

When planting Wildflower seeds in the fall, plant after a killing freeze. That way, seeds can follow their natural course of germinating and sprouting the following spring.

Please note - the dates below are an average that can be used to estimate the timing of your garden - but it's important to keep track of your local weather!

City, StateFirst Fall Frost DateLast Spring Frost Date
Atlanta, GANovember 18March 17
Baltimore, MDNovember 17March 20
Bismarck, NDSeptember 24May 12
Boise, IDOctober 17April 20
Boston, MANovember 8April 6
Buffalo, NYOctober 25May 5
Burlington, VTOctober 8May 4
Caribou, MESeptember 21May 12
Charleston, SCDecember 10February 6
Charleston, WVOctober 5April 16
Cheyenne, WYSeptember 27May 13
Chicago, ILOctober 28April 12
Cincinnati, OHOctober 25April 17
Cleveland, OHOctober 20April 8
Columbia, SCNovember 20March 15
Dallax, TXNovember 30March 4
Denver, COOctober 14April 30
Detroit, MIOctober 20April 18
Houston, TXDecember 11February 3
Indianapolis, INOctober 27April 19
Jacksonville, FLDecember 16February 6
Kansas City, MONovember 2April 4
Las Vegas, NVDecember 4February 6
Miami, FLno frostno frost
Milwaukee, WIOctober 25April 22
Minneapolis, MNOctober 13April 23
Mobile, ALDecember 12February 26
Nashville, TNNovember 7April 6
Newark, NJNovember 8April 3
New Orleans, LADecember 23February 4
New York, NYNovember 12April 1
Oklahoma City, OKNovember 7March 27
Philadelphia, PANovember 17March 31
Phoenix, AZDecember 11January 6
Pittsfield, MAOctober 4May 7
Portland, ORDecember 1February 26
Providence, RIOctober 27April 13
Raleigh, NCNovember 16April 1
Richmond, VANovember 8April 4
Sacramento, CADecember 10February 9
Salt Lake City, UTNovember 6April 10
Seattle, WADecember 1April 6
St. Louis, MONovember 8April 9
Washington, DCNovember 17March 28

For more details, try looking up your zip code for frost and freeze dates using the lookup tool at Dave's Garden.

Soil temperature is a helpful piece of information in gardening, too. Wildflower seeds typically germinate when the soil is above 55°F, and many plants will wait for soil temperatures to rise to wake up from winter dormancy. Soil temperature is different than air temperature. Look up your soil temperature with GreenCast.

How to Prepare For Frost

With a killing frost, tender annuals are killed down, and while perennials do better, their leaves, buds, and blooms are usually damaged. Some fall wildflowers are exceptions, with special traits that keep them blooming so they can fulfill their botanical objective of ripening their flowers into seeds. Many sunflowers and asters are in this group, often blooming right through the first frosts.

Does Frost Make the Leaves Turn?

No. The changing color of leaves during fall is a completely separate phenomenon from the falling temperatures. Leaf color change is caused by the shortening days as we go from summer into fall. Interestingly, the brilliant fall color is there all summer, but until fall, it is hidden by the production of (green) chlorophyll. As days shorten in fall, leaves shut down their chlorophyll production, and their real pigments are revealed.

Frost Dates Explained - Garden Quickie Episode 20

The dates listed are normal averages for a light freeze/frost. The possibility of a frost occurring after the spring dates and before the fall dates is 50 percent. Frost/freeze temperatures are categorized by their effect on plants:

  • Light freeze: 29 degrees F to 32 degrees F – tender plants killed, with little destructive effect on other vegetation.
  • Moderate freeze: 25 degrees F to 28 degrees F – widely destructive effect on most vegetation, with heavy damage to fruit blossoms and tender and semi-hardy plants.
  • Severe freeze: 24 degrees F and colder – damage to most plants.

*Higher elevations in Hawaii do occasionally see at-or-near freezing temperatures but definitive frost dates are not available.

Courtesy of the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Fort Smith10/313/31
Little Rock11/123/22
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Red Bluff12/12/22
San Bernardino12/242/21
Tahoe City9/196/18
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Grand Junction10/165/1
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost


CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Idaho Falls9/205/27
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Mount Vernon10/144/14
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
South Bend10/194/26
Terre Haut10/154/20
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
South Bend10/194/26
Terre Haut10/154/20
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Cedar Rapids10/64/25
Des Moines10/124/20
Fort Dodge10/44/29
Sioux City10/34/26
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Garden City10/114/27
Great Bend10/194/13
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Baton Rouge11/292/26
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Presque Isle9/204/21
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
New Bedford11/24/13
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Grand Rapids10/85/5
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Jefferson City10/184/13
Kansas City10/284/7
Poplar Bluff10/284/4
St. Louis10/294/7
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Great Falls9/225/17
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Grand Island10/84/26
North Platte10/45/5
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Las Vegas11/272/16
New Hampshire
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
New Jersey
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Atlantic City11/113/31
Cape May11/64/6
New Brunswick10/204/20
New Mexico
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Santa Rosa10/224/19
Truth or Consquences11/34/6
New York
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Lake Placid9/116/7
New York City11/154/1
North Carolina
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
North Dakota
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Grand Forks9/275/10
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Klamath Falls9/186/7
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Erie10/29 4/29
Lebanon10/13 4/27
Philadelphia11/4 4/6
Pittsburgh10/17 4/29
Wilkes Barre 10/16 4/26
Rhode Island
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Kingston10/3 5/8
Providence10/22 4/16
South Carolina
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Charleston11/25 3/9
Columbia11/1 4/1
Florence11/7 3/26
Greenville11/4 4/4
South Dakota
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Hot Springs 9/20 5/16
Pierre10/3 5/2
Sioux Falls 9/28 5/3
Watertown9/25 5/10
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Chattanooga11/4 4/1
Knoxville10/22 4/16
Memphis11/13 3/22
Nashville10/28 4/6
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Amarillo10/20 4/18
Dallas11/25 3/3
Houston12/20 2/8
San Antonio 11/25 2/28
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Cedar City 10/1 5/21
Logan9/29 5/14
Moab10/19 4/14
Salt Lake City 10/25 4/19
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Burlington10/1 5/8
Montpelier10/1 5/11
Rutland9/28 5/13
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Charlottesville10/31 4/7
Norfolk11/23 3/20
Richmond10/30 4/6
Roanoke10/22 4/13
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Olympia10/6 5/5
Seattle11/17 3/10
Spokane10/3 5/2
Vancouver10/15 4/20
West Virginia
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Charleston10/19 4/22
Martinsburg10/19 4/19
Morgantown10/18 4/30
Moundsville10/19 4/30
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Appleton10/7 5/7
Eau Claire 9/29 5/7
Madison10/2 5/10
Milwaukee10/14 4/27
CityFirst Fall FrostLast Spring Frost
Casper9/19 5/22
Cheyenne9/26 5/12
Gillette9/22 5/18

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First and Last Frost Dates

Use our Frost Dates Calculator to find the average dates of the last light freeze of spring and first light freeze of fall for locations across the U.S. and Canada. Simply enter your ZIP or Postal code in the field above to see frost dates for your location (based on the nearest weather station), as well as the length of your growing season based on frost dates.

What are Frost Dates?

frost date is the average date of the last light freeze in spring or the first light freeze in fall.

The classification of freeze temperatures is based on their effect on plants:

  • Light freeze: 29° to 32°F (° to 0°C)—tender plants are killed.
  • Moderate freeze: 25° to 28°F (° to °C)—widely destructive to most vegetation.
  • Severe freeze: 24°F (°C) and colder—heavy damage to most garden plants.

Note that frost dates are only an estimate based on historical climate data and are not set in stone. The probability of a frost occurring after the spring frost date or before the fall frost date is 30%, which means that there is still a chance of frost occurring before or after the given dates!

Frost is predicted when air temperatures reach 32°F (0°C), but because it is colder closer to the ground, a frost may occur even when air temperatures are just above freezing. Always keep an eye on your local weather forecast and plan to protect tender plants accordingly. Weather, topography, and microclimates may also cause considerable variations in the occurrence of frost in your garden. Learn how to protect plants from frost.

Frost dates are calculated based on data from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.

Wondering when to plant what? Get a head start on gardening with our Planting Calendar, customized to your location!

Browse Frost Date Locations by State or Province


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