Freezes are an occasional occurrence in the Bartow area and can be a problem if temperatures remain below freezing for a sustained period of time.
On average, the area can expect freezing temperatures every other winter.
In 1999, Connecticut financier Stanford Phelps purchased the former Clear Springs phosphate lands east and south of city limits and announced plans for the largest development project in Polk County history.
Most soils in the Bartow area are sandy; other soils have sandy surface layers and clay subsoils, and the eastern outskirts of town have a clay-rich floodplain through which the Peace River flows.
There were 6,254 households, of which 67.4% were families (one or more other people related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption), 27.4% consisted of individuals, 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.2% were heterosexual married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.Later that year, the town which had been known as Fort Blount, Peace Creek, Peas Creek, and briefly Reidsville was permanently renamed Bartow in honor of Francis S.