Region Description: New England
Albany NY, Bangor ME, Boston MA, Burlington VT, Danbury CT, Halifax NS, Hartford CT, Manchester NH, Montreal QUE, Ottawa ONT, Portland ME, Providence RI, Springfield MA
Traditionally New England has been defined as the states, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. We've expanded the definition to include eastern upstate New York, and sections of southern Ontario, southern Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces of Canada.
This region typically has 4 distinct seasons, even though the gardening season varies from a balmy zone 6 on the Connecticut coast to a frigid zone 3 in northern New Hampshire and Maine. The limiting factor to gardening in the area is cold. Both rain and snowfall are evenly distributed throughout the seasons. Spring is usually short; summers are hot and humid along the coasts and cool in the mountains. Fall offers cool nights and vivid foliage colors on the deciduous trees. Winters are long and severe with heavy snow and sometimes, ice storms. Storms tend to come out of the West and South with the classic "Noreaster" being a strong, windy storm coming up the Atlantic coast dropping heavy amounts of rain or snow. Annual precipitation amounts vary from 30 to 40 inches a year inland to up to 50 inches a year in some the coastal states.
The Growing Season
Last frost dates range from end of April along the coast to early June in the mountains. First frost dates tend to be from early September to the end of October. The frost free growing season ranges from 120 to 180 days. Memorial Day is the traditional planting day for annual and vegetable gardens in many areas. In fall the growing season can be extended into November and December, especially along the coast, but the short days don't provide the needed energy for new growth on annuals and vegetables. Perennials survive best in areas with cool summers and snow covered winters. Ice storms and heavy snows can cause limbs to break on trees and shrubs.