Know Thy Last Frost Date

Know Thy Last Frost Date

It happens every year -- the weather warms up and the impulse to plant becomes irresistible. It's spring! Let's go!, you say. And lately, it seems to happen every year -- a sneak-attack frost in late April zaps your early garden. The point is, every region has its traditional last frost date and it's always later than you expect. Ask around and confirm. In Nevada City, people say it's on Mother's Day (do I really have to wait that long?). I can heartily recommend a little Agribon frost protection for your garden. We sell it by the roll or as frost blankets. It's good to know when you get growing that you can tuck your plants in at night. Our Freshman Farmers use it as a rule. Get some and give yourself peace of mind. We also carry portable greenhouse-type devices, like the and Solar Bells cloches. They're essential for protecting from frost when you hear of an unexpected plunge in temperature.

Spring or fall is a good time to plant cold-season crops in our region, Grass Valley, California. Fast track your cool-season seed choices with our Frost Kissed Collection - Gift Seed Tin of 10 seed packs (for the price of 9) that actually prefer cool weather. They are ideal for the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, and many of them want to be direct sowed instead of started in seed trays indoors. Easy! UC Davis Garden Web supplies California with invaluable information regarding last-frost dates. A great place to start is their home page. They offer a good overarching guide to California Frost Dates.

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I been studying biodynamic gardening and I’m trying to grow hot peppers from seed. What’s the best kind of soil and should I water them every day?


Douglas, hot peppers are tender annuals, so they should be started indoors in early spring and transplanted out in the garden after the threat of spring frost has past. I would start them off in a seed starting mix like our Quickroot and move them up into a standard potting soil. If you are going to grow them in containers, just use a high quality potting soil. For watering, you don’t need to water them every day. They like even moisture. So mulching the plants will help provide this. We have a great video on growing peppers if you would like more information,,

Suzanne at

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