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Weather IQ: What and when is growing Season?

Charlotte's growing season started earlier than it usually does in 2023. But that just means a drop in temps can have a bigger impact in March rather than April

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — 2023 has had one of the warmest starts to a year in Charlotte History which has triggered the growing season to begin early. But when and what is the growing season? 

The Growing Season:

Growing season in the Charlotte area TYPICALLY continues from April 1st until November 11th. That’s 225 days. But this is just an average. It is approximated between the average dates of the last killing frost of spring and the first killing frost of fall.

When a growing season begins, freezing temperatures can be extremely detrimental to their health and longevity.

Degrees of Freeze:

According to the United States Department of Agriculture…

A light freeze is 32 to 29 degrees. This will kill tender plants but will cause little damage to other vegetation

A moderate freeze is 28 to 25 degrees. This range can be widely destructive with HEAVY damage to fruit blossoms.

And a severe freeze also known as a killing freeze… leaves heavy damage to most plants. When temps drop to 24 degrees or below, it freezes the ground solid affecting even the roots of a plant.

Worst Freeze in Recent Years:

One of the worst freezes during growing season here in the Southeast was April 2007. Peach production was down 79% following the freeze and South Carolina lost 85% of its local strawberries.

The Frost/Freeze Program:

So during the beginning and end of a growing season, the National Weather Service starts their Frost Freeze program! This is to alert us and farmers to protect all plants and crops due to falling temps.

There is only a short time of the year you will see frost advisories and freeze warnings. Most common in April and October in Charlotte.

Typically Charlotte averages its last Freeze the end of March and its first to start November. 

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