Measuring the First Frost

– Posted in: Tools and Equipment

Had our first frost last night, which for around here, was later than usual. I don’t know exactly how cold it got last night, but I wish I did. I’ve been looking at digital max-min thermometers, especially the wireless ones, for a while now, but the price keeps me from indulging. It always comes back to: “Do you know how many plants I could buy for that much money?” And I’ve discovered that a lot of the wireless ones don’t record temperatures as low as -35°F, which is the lowest I think it’s ever gotten since we’ve moved here. One company that prides itself on making wireless thermometers that do go that low is Koch. Theirs go down to -58°F–hopefully I’ll never need to measure temps that low! I don’t know how much these thermometers cost; the website doesn’t give prices and I think you’re supposed to find a retailer. Really, once you know that it frosted last night, or you had a hard freeze, what more do you need to know? But the record keeper in me wants to know, just like I want to know how many tenths of an inch of rain fell on any given day and what our exact latitude and longitude are. The only real question is, is it worth fifty, seventy, ninety bucks to know? So far, the answer has been, no.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In its own way, frost may be one of the most beautiful things to happen in your garden all year . . . Don’t miss it. Like all true beauty, it is fleeting. It will grace your garden for but a short while this morning. . . . For this moment, embrace frost as the beautiful gift that it is.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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