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Soil Temperatures for Seed Germination and Transplanting Vegetables

Soil Temperature and thermometers

You've waited all winter to begin your new vegetable garden. According to the calendar, it's just about the right time. But, wait!!!!!

If the soil temperature is not right, your seeds may fail to germinate. Both the seedlings that do sprout, and  your garden transplants, can become stunted, or even die.

For the absolutely best start to your garden season, plant your vegetables, both seeds and seedlings, when the soil temperatures are optimum to do so. This will help to avoid transplanting shock for your seedlings.

Most seeds require warm soil temperatures down to 3 inches deep, to encourage germination.   

Use a garden soil thermometer, to check the soil temperature. Simply insert the thermometer to a depth of 2-3 inches. Wait three minutes, then take the reading.

Use the chart below to identify the ideal soil temperatures for your vegetables.

Gardening Tip: It is also important not to plant seeds above the maximum range. Seeds can literally bake in hot soils.  

Ideal Soil Temperature Range for Vegetables:

Ideal Temperatures, Degrees in Fahrenheit:
Vegetable: Will Germinate at: Ideal Germination at: Transplant Seeds at:
Asparagus 50F-90F 70F
Beans 60F-90F 80F
Beets 40F-90F 80F
Broccoli 40F-90F 80F 50F
Cabbage 40F-90F 80F 45F
Cantaloupe 60F-100F 90F 65F
Carrot 40F-90F 80F
Cauliflower 40F-90F 80F 45F
Celery 40F-80F 70F 45F
Chard 40F-90F 80F
Corn 50F-100F 80F 60F
Cucumber 60F-100F 90F 65F
Endive 40F-75F 75F
Lettuce 40F-75F 75F
Okra 60F-100F 90F 70F
Onion 40F-100F 90F 45F
Parsley 40F-90F 80F
Parsnip 40F-90F 70F
Pepper 60F-90F 80F 65F
Pumpkin 60F-100F 90F 65F
Radish 40F-90F 80F
Spinach 40F-80F 75F
Squash 60F-100F 90F 65F
Tomato 50F-100F 80F 60F
Watermelon 60F-110F 90F 65F

More on Soil Thermometers


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