LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gardeners often get very eager to get their green thumbs at this time of year, but should the planting begin? Of course, the hardier cole or sometimes referred to as "cold" crop plants can already be in the ground (Cole crops is the general term used to describe broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi).
However, you may want to hold off a bit longer for other garden vegetables and flowers. Our local general rule of thumb is, any planting is safe after the Kentucky Derby, but the data we have here shows you can usually be safe to plant a bit earlier.
This chart from our local National Weather Service shows the average date of a 32-degree weather reading in our area in Spring. According to the data, the final freeze of the spring usually falls around the end of March/early April.
The data shows we're usually free of frost by mid-April. However, if you want to be super safe, you're likely all good to start digging by the end of April.
Right now is a good time to start fertilizing lawns and gardens and getting nutrients in the ground, as roots are beginning to wake up and take in their food.
The latest recorded freeze in Louisville was May 10, 1966 - three days after that year's Kentucky Derby.
It's important to keep in mind, the final freeze and frost are typically a little bit later for rural areas outside of Metro Louisville. You can check the map below for more information on final freeze dates.