I can tell a lot of you have the same kind of fever that we have at our house. We're ready to start putting new plants in the ground to get the yard and flowerbeds loaded up with color for spring and summer. But is it too early to do that?

Obviously predicting the final frost for a particular geographic area isn't something that can be written in stone but we do have a pretty good idea of when you can safely plant your tender vegetation in the ground or put tropical plants back out in the yard.

Most of Acadiana is in Zone 9A based on the USDA's Plant Hardiness Map. You can use that information when selecting plants. Your nursery or plant provider should know what it means if they don't then you don't need to buy plants from them.

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the final Winter frost for Lafayette will happen before February 27th. That means we've got about ten days until you can feel pretty comfortable about spending the money on new plants for the garden or flower beds.

One other reason you'll likely have to wait a week or two is that nurseries around the area are just now getting their spring shipments of plants from growers in Florida. Most nurseries and garden centers won't have the exquisite selection for which they are known for another couple of weeks, so be patient. Trust me, your patience will be rewarded.

Remember if you have gardening questions you can always contact the LSU AgCenter. They have professionals on staff that can offer great advice on plant selection, planting tips, and they can even do soil testing for you. They're a great resource for the home gardener and flower enthusiast so use them. I do.


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