Want to start a garden? The growing season has likely already begun in NYC

Weather Science
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NEW YORK — The growing season is defined by the consecutive days without temperatures at or below the freezing point of 32 degrees, according to Climate Central.

In New York City, over the past 30 years, the average date of the start of the growing season is March 29. Our last day with temperatures below freezing was April 3.

That’s somewhat different in 2020, when we had the earliest begin to growing season since they began measuring in 1970, as the last freeze took place on March 1.

If we somehow went below 32 degrees again this spring, it would be the latest since 1930, when we dipped to the freezing mark on April 24. The current recordholder stands at May 6 — all the way back in 1891.

This means it’s now probably safe to start your outdoor garden in the city. If you decide to put your seedlings or plants outside, make sure you can cover them with a sheet or a tarp in case we do end up getting a late-season frost or freeze. Or, plant them in containers that you can move to the garage or another protected space to prevent them from getting damaged by frost.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the date for the latest freeze on record.

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