Last frost date – when is the last frost?

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Before gardeners can get to work on making their gardens beautiful, they will need to be sure the last frost has passed. The last frost date refers to the average final spring frost in a specific growing location. But a number of different factors can affect the last frost date, meaning there isn’t a uniform time across the country that the final frost arrives.

Why is it important to know the last frost date?

When the signs of spring are in the air, many will be tempted to start work outside straight away.

However, if plants and seeds are planted too early, there is a good chance they won’t survive if the last frost hasn’t passed.

For example, frosty nights can halt all growth for some types of vegetable seeds.

Plants might not grow and flourish if the circumstances are too cold for them.

This is especially the case for more vulnerable plants, so take extra care to make sure the risk of frost is gone before planting any.

Often plant, flower and vegetable seed packets will include instructions to wait until after the danger of frost has passed before planting.

It’s important to pay attention to these instructions in order for the plants to have a good chance of survival.

When is the last frost?

The date of the last frost will differ from area to area in the UK.

According to PlantMaps, across the UK the final frost can end at some point from March to May, depending on location.

There are several websites which can give a more specific estimate of when the last frost will fall.

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But PlantsMaps gives the following estimates for the average last frost dates for some key UK locations:

  • Aberdeen – May 1 to May 10
  • Bath – March 21 to March 31
  • Belfast – April 1 to April 10
  • Birmingham – April 21 to April 30
  • Cardiff – March 11 to March 20
  • Exeter – May 1 to May 10
  • Glasgow – April 1 to April 10
  • London – March 11 to March 20
  • Liverpool – April 21 to April 30
  • York – May 1 to May 10

The Garden Focused website can also help people find out when the first and last frost is expected in their local area.

For frost dates in England, simply find the first letter of your town and it should tell you a rough estimate.

It is worth bearing in mind that frost dates aren’t 100 percent accurate a lot of the time.

So it is possible for frost to occur before or after the given final frost dates for a local area.

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