killing frost

noun
the occurrence of temperatures cold enough to kill all but the hardiest vegetation, especially the last such occurrence in spring and the first in fall, events that limit the agricultural growing season.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
From midsummer until killing frost, the little daisies are a constant delight.
Light frost has been reported in many regions, but farmers are waiting for a
  strong killing frost to help dry crops down.
Even after its leaves drop about the time of the first killing frost, shrub
  lespedeza is still effective as a conservation plant.
Commercial dahlia growers were pleased that a killing frost did not bring an
  end to brisk cut flower sales.
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