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Basil Growing Season for California

The NOAA National Climatic Data Center provides information to the public about spring and fall frost dates in the United States and the length of the expected growing season for each area. These statistics are calculated using data collected from 1971 to 2000, across 4300 weather stations located in every part of the country.

While informative, the statistics that NOAA provides is overwhelming. So, we took the liberty of extracting the most basic information that we feel would be useful to someone interested in growing basil outdoors.

The table below lists the date after which it should be safe to plant basil outdoors in each area of the state. This information is based on NOAA’s calculations for a 10% probability of temperatures falling below 36 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that, on average, there is only a 10% chance that you will see frost after this date. Also listed is the estimated length of the growing season. This is how many days you can expect to have before the risk of frost is greater than 10%.

Please use this information at your own risk. You must take into consideration many varying factors, for example, micro-climates or the presence of valleys and bodies of water, to determine your actual growing season.

StateCountyLast Frost DateLength of Growing Season
CAAlameda5/14170
CAAlpine7/317
CAButte5/06165
CACalaveras6/2888
CAColusa5/05179
CAContra Costa5/13185
CADel Norte5/21161
CAEl Dorado5/30142
CAFresno4/13211
CAGlenn5/06187
CAHumboldt5/15155
CAImperial3/08255
CAInyo3/08252
CAKern4/29189
CAKings4/24190
CALake5/30133
CALassen7/1738
CALos Angeles5/21162
CAMadera4/22186
CAMarin5/16192
CAMariposa6/18109
CAMendocino5/16170
CAMerced5/04166
CAModoc6/2869
CAMonoN/ANo growing season for this area.
CAMonterey7/0682
CANapa5/05188
CANevada7/1539
CAOrange4/05233
CAPlacer5/21156
CAPlumas7/287
CARiverside3/19251
CASacramento4/18213
CASan Benito6/15112
CASan Bernardino3/26230
CASan DiegoN/AGrowing season is year-round.
CASan FranciscoN/AGrowing season is year-round.
CASan Joaquin4/26180
CASan Luis Obispo6/08118
CASan Mateo2/24294
CASanta Barbara3/19276
CASanta Clara4/28193
CASanta Cruz5/07183
CAShastaN/ANo growing season for this area.
CASierra7/2812
CASiskiyou6/2088
CASolano5/06180
CASonoma4/15210
CAStanislaus4/27194
CATehama4/26196
CATrinity6/3068
CATulare5/02188
CATuolumne6/09117
CAVentura5/08174
CAYolo4/28186
CAYuba4/10217