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When to plant in Michiana

With more than a week sunshine and milder temperatures many green thumbs or those agriculturally deficient may be itching to start their gardens. Historically,you should still wait to plant or risk another frost or freeze that could damage seedlings.  

Digging through the record books, we researched the average last freeze ( low < or = 32) and frost ( low < 36) dates for area cities. The end of April marks the usual last freeze for Northern Indiana, mid May for Southwest Michigan. The typical rule for our area is wait until after Mother's Day, a little later in Michigan. 

Average Last Frost and Freeze Dates

City < 32° <36°
South Bend April 26 May 10
Goshen April 27 May 9
Plymouth April 26 May 15
Benton Harbor May 16 May 24
Dowagiac May 9 May 21

Could we plant earlier this year? An earlier planting could lengthen the growing season and/or bring on earlier produce. The outlook for the next two weeks is promising. The outlook through May 3rd calls for the likelihood of at or above normal temperatures. 

The 10-day forecast (as of April 19) has good confidence through April 29th that temperatures will stay well above freezing. Best advice, wait until Saturday May 1st and check the latest forecast. So prep those gardens now, you could get a one to two week head start on planting. 

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