If you are new to gardening, you probably want to maximize your gardening season. To get the most out of your garden, know your frost dates. There’s a spring frost date, and a fall frost date. For plants sensitive to frost, you should plant after the spring frost date and before the fall frost date. Because Texas is so large, we have a wide variety of frost dates. You should check The Farmer’s Almanac to determine your frost dates, and plant accordingly.
- Dallas is typically March 12th and November 22nd. This is easy to remember because it covers St Patrick’s Day to the day JFK was shot.
- El Paso is a little shorter, March 25th through November 8th.
- Austin is just a little longer, March 1st to November 30th. Again this is pretty easy to remember.
- Houston has a couple more weeks, February 19th to December 10th.
- Amarillo has the shortest, April 21st through October 18th.
- Brownsville is virtually frost free the entire year, with frost possible from December 20th through January 25th.
It should be noted though, that there’s a 30% chance of error on these dates according to The Farmer’s Almanac. If you know anything about Texas, you know the weather can be quite unpredictable. For things that are not frost tolerant at all, like many pepper plants, it’s best to keep them in a container that can be carried indoors if you’re planting between the spring frost date and the absolute last frost date, which can be as late as April 12th in Dallas. After the last frost date, your tender plants should be safe in the ground.