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A Few Facts about Frost

Gardeners are always talking about frost, but there seems little clear guidance as to when to expect it…

Frost – the good points

A good burst of frost does have its upsides. Not only do you get to wear that lovely hat your granny knitted you for Christmas, but a good sharp frost also helps break down those nasty big clods of earth, so you don’t have sweet talk your bloke (or a passing navvy!) to dig it over for you. Frost also kills nasty little critters and some diseases. In fact, there are some seeds and bulbs that will only grow after a good frost, so it can save on valuable freezer space too!

Why we could do without frost 

Some plants shrivel up and die at the first sign of frost, whereas some don’t seem to mind at all. Oh, and just to complicate matters, there’s the difference between ground frost and air frost (which is much nastier to plants).

Where you live 

Then there’s the issue of where you live. Basically, the higher up you are, the greater the risk. The further South and West and the nearer the coast you are, the less risk of frost there is. If you’re an urban gardener you can also get away with more (murder if you live in London…)

UK Frost guidelines 

So even once all these variables are taken into account and then with the impact of climate change on top, we still figured it would be helpful to have a bit of guidance on the subject. We’ve searched high and low for a decent table of dates on the internet, but we haven’t found anything easy to use, so here’s our own easy-peasy, at-a-glance guidelines for UK frost dates.

Frost in the Garden

photo by: dorena-wm