Would you like to go into the garden to plant something? You might want to think twice about it!

(WKBW-TV) BUFFALO, NY – With May just around the corner and many, like my colleague Aaron Mentkowski, doing yard work, along with yard clean-up, it’s tempting to run to the nearest nursery and garden store to pick up plants and picking out vegetables for that spring garden. After all, Buffalo already had its first high temperature of 80 degrees for the season, and May is just a few days away, so it seems logical that it would be safe!

Well, think again. Mother Nature has other thoughts on this subject. Thoughts that can seriously ruin your garden plans if you do not act carefully and have no plan.

With temperature records dating back to the 1870s, Buffalo’s average last freeze of the season (the last day with a low temperature of 32 degrees) occurs on April 26. Our first freeze typically occurs on October 24th, giving us an average growing season of 180 days. For reference, this means Buffalo has similar growing seasons as: Topeka, KS, Cincinnati, OH, and Omaha, NE.

Here’s how our average last freeze date compares to other places in the Northeast


ACIS, NE Regional Climate Center

So what’s a good rule of thumb to be safe? Most Western New York farmers and gardeners with green thumbs would say, “Wait until Memorial Day.” This makes perfect sense as Buffalo’s LAST low temperature of 32 degrees is on the books May 24th.

The bottom line here is that a little patience will go a long way in making your garden a success, rather than becoming a victim of the cold!