It has come. The official last frost date for New Orleans in this our lord's year 2016 is February 19th.
Plant your tomatoes! Plant your Peppers! Plant Your Cucumbers! Plant your Basil! Plant whatever you want! You need fear the cold never again!
That’s what ‘they’ want you to think, that it’s all good, that everything’s under control and the powers that be control the weather just fine and you need never want for anything, especially not intuition or a regular and ever-adaptive analysis of your surroundings.
And they’re pretty much right. I listen to them. I heed the last frost date as gospel, fundamental, irrevocable, Truth.
I am a fool for doing so, but it is the eager heart of the gardener that beats in my chest and screams ecstacy into the heat of the Spring sun.
Frost dates are determined a year or more in advance by meteorologists, farmer almanac kooks, astrologists and other oracular future-casters of dubious scientific background, but they are by and large reasonably accurate. If you are not of a gambling nature it is best to wait a week or so after the frost date to actually get Spring plants and seeds in the ground, but as of my writing this it has been about a week, so you’re probably good to go without betting the farm at this juncture.
All this to say, frost dates are accurate but not that accurate. Pay attention to them but do as I say, not as I do. Approach the date with circumspection each and every year, then plant accordingly.
Meantime, presently, you’re in the clear. It’s Springtime in New Orleans. Let loose the heat loving plants upon your raised earth.
Ian writes these. Fearlessly.