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What can I grow and when is my first frost date?

Hi all,

I am new to this site but I would be grateful for some advice.

I have tried to search for my first frost date but I'm get 3rd week of January can this be right? We do have very mild winters now and snow might come Feb/march but that seems a little late. We love in a small area with its own weird climate as we are at the point where two seas come together and it makes for often milder conditions than the rest of the UK.

I would like to try and grow some vegetables that might survive our mild winter. It's ok if they don't it's all trial and error but I would be interested if anyone has any recommendations for vegetables that can be down now and if there is no frost until January that could produce before then. Even with a little help like covers etc 

Does anyone have any recommendations?


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,789
    edited August 2022
    For most people the actual first frost date (and last frost date) varies considerably from year to year, for example for my location this site says 11-20 November. In my experience it's often in October and can be as early as late September, or it can be as late as December if we get a mild wet autumn.
    It's about the right time to sow winter cabbages, and you'd probably get crops before winter from salad greens to harvest as baby leaves, but apart from those I don't have any ideas.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • If you have lived in the same area for some years, you will already have an idea when you can expect to experience the first frosts. If you are new to the area, maybe have a word with neighbours to see if you can get some indication.  Apart from the extremes we have been seeing for the last 20 years or so, no one can really advise you  with any sense of accuracy because there are so many other factors to take into account - particularly when it comes to growing veg. 
    As per @JennyJ says, winter cabbage/greens are a good bet if sown now.  So are the quick growing salads.  You can also just about sow French Beans and Mange tout now and expect a crop BUT it all depends on where you are and your climatic conditions.  

  • Thank you both, sadly I've loved in the same area my whole life....but I still have no idea if that's correct it's not something I've really taken notice of before. Snow yes, frost no. 
    Our winters are definitely significantly milder than they were 20 years ago that's for sure.
    I might get just throw a whole heap of stuff in the ground and see what happens.
    I put some french beans in a few weeks ago, along with some peas. The beans are going great out of the ground in days, the peas have been much slower.
    I wondered if there was anything else that might be fairly hardy that might be worth trying. 
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,426
    Are you in the UK?  You could do spinach or chard now.
  • Are you in the UK?  You could do spinach or chard now.

    Yes I'm in the south east but my chard and spinach are struggling, the spinach in particular I haven't managed to get more than a few leaves before it's going to seed.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,789
    It's probably the hot weather making the spinach run to seed quickly. In your mild conditions it's probably worth trying a late sowing when it's cooled down a bit more, maybe early September.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,768
    Swiss chard will cope with winters in the Southeast. You can sow Aquadulce broad beans direct in the ground at the end of October and grow through winter, even the Beast from the East, for a crop in late May. There are also pretty hardyvarieties of lettuce that will
    withstand most winters too. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,426
    It does Dove,I don't even have to use a cloche or fleece it does just fine.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,789
    edited August 2022
    That's the site I linked @war garden 572 . Probably it's giving an average, but the first frost often comes a month or six weeks earlier the dates that it gives, or the same amount later, ie there's a large variance, which the site doesn't tell you.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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