Determining Your Microclimate: an activity for older children. Determining your frost dates using a tool such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac frost date calculator is a good starting point for learning about your local climate, but you may live in a location that has a slightly different microclimate. This means that your frost dates may be sooner or later than those calculated by the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which uses data from local weather stations. In this activity, children will learn how to determine their microclimate.
- a simple weather data collection device
- garden notebook/journal or place to record your data
- access to your local weather forecast
- Set up your weather data collection device as instructed by the manufacturer.
- Note your local weather forecast. If it looks like there may be a frost, make a note to check the device the following morning and note the minimum temperature recorded in your notebook along with the date.
- Continue this practice in the spring until there is no more chance of frost. Do the same in the fall starting when frosts are possible according to your local weather forecast.
- Once you have collected your data, you will be able to determine your last and first frosts for your specific location. Over the years you will be able to calculate your average frost dates and compare to the local average. More importantly, the data will help you better determine how soon you can plant in the spring to maximize your growing season.