DENVER, CO – An Old Farmer’s Almanac tool helped gardeners in Denver plan ahead by identifying the typical date of the last spring frost.
The average last spring frost in Denver is May 4th. This opens up a 153-day growing season, as the typical first frost date in autumn is October 5th.
There’s a 30 percent chance that frost will occur after May 4 because the date is determined from historical data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric from 1981-2010, rather than being “set in stone,” said the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
May 4th is the average last “light freeze” date in Denver. According to the Almanac, “light frost” occurs when the temperature drops between 29 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point tender plants can be killed. A “moderate frost” between 25 and 28 degrees is destructive to most plants, and a “severe frost” at less than 24 degrees can cause serious damage to most garden plants, according to the almanac.
As the second gardening season of the pandemic begins in Denver, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has another tool to help gardeners decide when to grow which plants.
In Denver, the tool shows that it is usually best to plant these seedlings or grafts on the following dates:
- Basil: Between May 11th and May 25th
- Paprika: Between May 11th and May 25th
- Cucumbers: Between May 18th and June 1st
- Lettuce: Plant as soon as possible, by May 18th
- Oregano: Between May 4th and May 25th
- Rosemary: Between May 11th and June 1st
- Sage: Between May 4th and May 18th
- Thyme: Between May 4th and May 25th
- Tomatoes: Between May 11th and June 1st
- Zucchini: Between May 18th and June 1st
You can check the Old Farmer’s Almanac Calendar here to see when you can grow other crops – just enter your zip code or location.
The 2021 gardening season is expected to be busy, as is the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated closure orders. The pandemic led to a “global horticultural boom” for 2020, according to an Agriculture Week report as seed companies saw unprecedented interest.
Burpee Seed Co. sold more seeds last March when the pandemic began than any other month in its 144-year history, Agriculture Week reported, and Johnny’s Selected Seed saw sales jump 270 percent during the 2020 gardening season.
The brisk semen sales don’t just reflect an interest in a pastime that makes social distancing easier. Experts say gardening is therapeutic.
“There are certain very stabilizing forces in gardening that can ground us when we are feeling insecure, insecure and scared,” Professor Joel Flagler of Rutgers University told Agriculture Week. “It is these predictable results and predictable rhythms of the garden that are very comforting right now.”
Even before the pandemic, mental health experts pointed to gardening as a means of managing stress.
Gardening provides exercise and promotes healthier diets, but it can also reduce the worries of people who consider themselves perfectionists, said psychologist Seth Gillihan.
“Given the lack of control we have, gardening can be a great antidote to perfectionism,” wrote Gillihan on a 2019 Psychology Today blog. that you cannot predict – insect invasions, bad weather, hungry rodents.
With so many things out of their control, perfectionism is a waste of time, he said, so gardeners may wonder “why bother” to be perfect.