Knowing just the right time to plant your plants and veggies in the UK can be imperative to yielding an excellent crop. However, short of constantly checking the weather, it can be difficult to know when the last frost of the winter will be.
Our short guide on the last frost dates, UK will give you everything you need to know so you can prepare to get out and get planting!
What Is The Last Frost Date?
The last frost date is a date that is given to be considered as the last time an overnight frost will occur in your local area. Across the UK, various dates are given and there is a lot of mystery surrounding the ‘true’ last frost date. Just think about the following considerations.
If you take a look around the internet, you will quickly learn that there is never one set last frost date; at least not one that makes much sense. This is because nobody can truly know the last date of frost every year. It will differ. Although, with that in mind, there is a time of year when you might start thinking about preparing to start planting your veggies.
What’s more, different areas of the UK will have different last frost dates. If you attempted to compare the temperature of the Cornwall coast with the last frost date in Inverness then you’d find a serious difference. Each area will have a rough last frost date that may fall up to two weeks outside of its opposite extreme.
Calculating the last frost dates takes some time but there has been quite a lot of research into this by avid gardeners and many are now confident in their ability to correctly predict the last frost with great accuracy. That being said, there must always be room for error and while sometimes the last frost may come early, in other years it could be much later.
For the most part, the last frost date will be determined as a mode average of the last XX number of years. When you use an average date, you should be aware that this is the date on which the last frost occurred for more than half of the years taken into account. However, it pays to be very cautious when using this approach since putting your vegetables outside before the last frost could be devastating for these plants.
How Does The Weather Affect My Plants?
As many knowledgeable gardeners among you will know, different plants are able to tolerate different conditions. However, there are very few that will take kindly to a battering of frost.
More often than not, these harsh conditions will kill off a plant, even if it is considered to be incredibly hardy. In fact, if a late frost occurs, it is not unheard of for delicate or tender vegetables and plants to die in just one night!
When we talk about the last frost dates, these are considered to be in line with the time that you can plant your tender vegetables and not to do with the lowest temperature in your area. That being said, if you have a lot of non-annual plants, the lowest temperature will certainly have an impact on these. There may be some plants that simply cannot handle the lower temperatures.
What Things Affect The Last Frost Dates?
When you are researching the last frost dates there are several things that you must take into consideration. For example, if there are any significant bodies of water near where you live, for example, the sea or a large lake, this can have an impact on the last frost dates. Furthermore, things such as mountains and other sloped terrains could alter the date of the last frost.
For the most part, frost dates are given by town, so it is important to look up your nearest town and go with that. In the main, these dates are pretty accurate with typically six out of seven years being correctly predicted. But again, take this with any other relevant factors because if it happens to be a year where the date is wrong, your plants could suffer.
When Is The Last Frost Date in the UK?
There are many resources online that will give you accurate last frost dates, but if you want to get as close to average as possible, you could use a last frost date calculator. There are several of these sprinkled around the web, but we would recommend the Garden Focused one which is usually very reliable.
However, since many people don’t have time to be making calculations, we have put together a short list of some of the most commonly searched last frost locations in the UK, for your convenience.
|Newcastle Upon Tyne||21-30 April|
|Saint Helens||21-30 April|
|St Ives||11-21 March|
|West Bromwich||21-30 April|
Getting your Vegetables outside as soon as possible is important for plant health and will increase your yield. If you put them outside too early, the poor UK weather could be hugely detrimental and even kill off your plants before they have had the chance to mature.
Keep this last frost date in mind when growing vegetables in the UK if you want to enjoy your homegrown produce.
Garden Doctor Tips
“Although you may have a ‘date in mind, always check the next few weeks’ weather forecast as last frost dates are an average and not a given!”
“If you are worried about another frost after putting your vegetables out, you can use a fleece tunnel to protect your infant crops!”
“In late winter and early spring, it is a good idea to add a nice layer of mulch to your vegetable garden to provide warmth and protect from frost!”
“If in any real doubt, wait a couple of weeks until after the average last frost date in your area to give you a much larger chance of avoiding an unexpected frost!”
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the last Frost date in the UK?
There is no definitive last frost date that covers the whole UK. The date of the last frost is worked out using an average of previous years. The last frost date in the UK can vary greatly across the nation with Aberdeen in Northern Scotland being around the beginning of May and London being the middle of March.
When is the last Frost in Norfolk?
The average last frost date in Norfolk is approximately 1 – 10 April.
What does last frost date mean?
The average last frost date is the date when a region can expect its last frost meaning that many plants & vegetables can be sown or transplanted outside without the risk of the weather damaging the plants. This date is not fixed and is worked out using an average of a previous number of years so planting on a particular date still carries an element of risk.
What month is the last frost in the UK?
The last frost in the UK can vary depending on the region, but it generally occurs in late April or early May in most parts of the country. However, some colder regions may experience frost well into May or even early June.
Do you get frost in April UK?
Yes, frost can occur in the UK in April, especially in the early part of the month. This is why it’s important to be cautious when planting sensitive crops or plants outdoors in the spring.
Do you get frost in May?
Frost can still occur in the UK in May, especially in colder regions or during colder-than-average years. However, it’s less common than in April, and the risk of frost generally decreases as the month progresses.
What temperature is frost UK?
Frost can occur when the temperature drops to or below freezing, which is 0°C (32°F) in the UK. However, it’s worth noting that other factors, such as humidity and wind conditions, can affect the formation of frost.
Can you get frost at 4 degrees?
It is unlikely to get frost at 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) since frost usually forms when the temperature drops below freezing, which is 0°C (32°F) in the UK. However, there may be some rare exceptions where other conditions, such as humidity and wind, can cause frost to form at temperatures slightly above freezing.
How do you tell if there will be frost UK?
One way to tell if there will be frost in the UK is to check the weather forecast for your area. Many weather websites and apps will provide information on the likelihood of frost, as well as the expected low temperature for the night. Additionally, you can look for signs of frost, such as a clear night sky, low humidity, and still air.
Does wind keep frost from forming?
Yes, wind can help prevent frost from forming by mixing the air and preventing cold air from settling in one place. This is why frost is more common on calm, still nights.
Which plants need frost protection UK?
Plants that are particularly sensitive to frost and may require protection in the UK include tender annuals, such as tomatoes, peppers, and basil, as well as some perennial plants, such as citrus trees, fuchsias, and some herbs. It’s important to research the specific needs of your plants and provide appropriate protection, such as covering them with frost blankets or moving them indoors.
Should I cut off frost-damaged leaves?
In most cases, it’s best to leave frost-damaged leaves on the plant until new growth appears in the spring. This is because the damaged leaves can help protect the plant from further frost damage, and cutting them off too soon can cause additional stress to the plant. However, if the leaves are completely blackened or have turned slimy, it’s best to remove them to prevent the spread of disease.
Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.