The Q&A Archives: Zone Maps

Question: I have a tough judging when to start my plant indoors according to zone maps that show the last frost date. I live in Philadelphia area, when would you suggest starting plants indoors?.....

Answer: There really isn't a hard and fast date. Most plants have a range of say for example 6 to 10 weeks for annual flowers or just a few weeks for melons. You might check with your County Extension and ask about the average last frost date, but keep in mind that it is an average and that your own yard will have its own microclimate, too. If you have a good coldfame to harden the plants off, you can push the date earlier a little bit. If you do not have a good place to harden them and easily protect them during sudden cold snaps, then wait and start a bit later.

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