Winter is winding down, so when can we plant spring gardens? - Tucson News Now

Winter is winding down, so when can we plant spring gardens?

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

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.  

Latest
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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