After All Danger of Frost in Parkallen’s Micro-climate

If you started seeds a couple of weeks ago, they should be peeking up through the soil by now.  Some of the slower-to-germinate seeds, like peppers, will likely need another week.

ZevsMaxIIIneSprout
Zev’s MaxIIIne Sprout: A Dill’s Atlantic Giant planted for the 2015 Giant Pumpkin Growing Challenge

A new-to-Parkallen gardener has asked me when the date to plant seedlings and sow seeds directly in the garden is in Edmonton?  Seed packets are always telling us to sow “after all danger of frost is past.”  When is that?

The May 24 Long Weekend is the Best Planting Date in Parkallen
I consider the May 24 long weekend the date to plant in Parkallen.  Of course, this can vary from season to season so keeping an eye on the Spring temperatures is the thing to do if you’re keen to get a longer growing season in.

The Farmer’s Almanac says we’re good to go on May 7th in Edmonton, and Vesey’s Seeds‘ frost chart says the same. But Alberta’s Department of Agriculture has different first / last frost dates for different parts of Edmonton.  Alberta Ag predicts the growing season as May 12th (Last Frost) to Sept 10th (First Frost) in Edmonton/Namao Airport.  But for Edmonton/International Airport the season is shorter:  May 24-Sept 10th.

I’ve noticed that Parkallen has it’s own micro-climate and it’s colder here than in most of Edmonton.  The snow is long gone and tulips are blooming downtown and in the University area when the tulips are just beginning to peek up through the soil in Parkallen. Did you know that Parkallen used to be a lake?

What do you think?  Do you agree with me that May 24 marks the beginning of Parkallen’s growing season?

Marlene Wurfel
Parkallen Community Garden Director

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