As March begins so do the thoughts of spring!
In Arizona the weather is generally the best it is all year long. Not too hot and not too cold.
Over the past few weeks, I have been getting quite a few questions about when the last cold blast will hit the area.
Below are the latest freeze calendar dates for various locations in this area.
The first column is the average day when the location experiences the last freeze of the year. For Tucson that is March 4th.
For people in Tucson, the frost- and freeze-damaged plants in your yard will start to show signs of life once again in the coming weeks.
It's generally during this first week of March when I cut back the damaged parts of plants in my yard. I have mostly lantana and bougainvillea planted around my house.
Some garden sites recommend not cutting plants back until new signs of growth start to show.
Ask your local garden center experts or the county extension office for more detailed instructions on when the best time to cut back winter plant damage is for your neighborhood.
No matter what time you decide to cut back the damage, you do want to keep in mind there is the possibility of a spring freeze.
Tucson's record low on May 3, 1899 was 32°. That was the latest freeze on record for the city.
While we won't likely beat or match that record it is still possible to see freezing temperatures in Tucson during March and April.
What do you do if a freeze hits after you have cleared away the winter damage and planted spring blooms?
Protect the plants once again. Cover the plants with sheets and tip cactus with Styrofoam cups. That will help protect the plants from spring cold blasts.
|Location||Average date||Last time in 2013||Earliest lastoccurrence||Latest lastoccurrence|
|Ajo||Jan. 25||??||Nov. 19, 1958||May 7, 1921|
|Organ Pipe Cactus N.M.||Feb. 24||??||Jan. 4, 1993||May 4, 1969|
|Tucson||March 4||??||Dec. 30, 1979||May 3, 1899|
|Clifton||March 5||??||Jan. 19, 1927||Apr. 27, 1976|
|San Manuel||March 19||??||Feb. 12, 1972||Apr. 22, 1957|
|Sierra Vista||March 24||??||Feb. 12, 1986||May 7, 1907|
|Tombstone||March 27||??||Feb. 7, 2005||May 12, 1933|
|Bowie||April 3||??||Feb. 5, 1932||May 11, 1922|
|Oracle||April 5||??||Feb. 11, 1943||May 25, 1980|
|Safford||April 7||??||Feb. 23, 1986||May 7, 1975|
|Fort Thomas||April 11||??||Mar. 13, 2000||May 20, 1960|
|Douglas||April 12||??||Mar. 6, 2004||May 10, 1953|
|Pearce-Sunsites||April 16||??||Mar. 6, 2004||May 10, 1953|
|Bisbee (12 years of data)||April 12||??||Mar. 25, 2006||May 3, 1988|
|San Simon||April 18||??||Mar. 16, 1940||May 11, 1953|
|Coronado N.M.||April 20||??||Mar. 24, 1992||May 10, 1979|
|Benson||April 21||??||Mar. 18, 1990||May 29, 1971|
|Kitt Peak||April 26||??||Mar. 30, 1993||May 28, 1962|
|Nogales||April 28||??||Mar. 19, 1990||May 28, 1975|
|Willcox||April 30||??||Mar. 25, 1992||Jun. 13, 1964|
|Duncan||May 1||??||Mar. 30, 1969||Jun. 2, 1902|
|Canelo||May 3||??||Apr. 3, 1990||Jun. 6, 1925|
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