When you’re itching to get vegetables planted in the spring, do you ever think about Soil temperature data?
Soil temperature data is extremely important to refer to before planting your home garden. Why? Because certain seeds require just the right soil temperature for young seed germination. Not just in the spring but in the summer, too.
And today, I’m going to give you what you need for planting seeds at just the right temperature. In fact, I’m going to give you my soil temperature data sheet free!
But first, let’s talk about why knowing soil temperature data is so important for a successful gardening season.
Why Soil Temperature is Important
Furthermore, there are several factors you want to be sure of when you’re planting seeds:
- Soil moisture – Soil should be soft, not too wet or dry.
- Soil texture – Should be soft and fluffy. Not compacted.
- Temperature of the soil – What is the actual temperature where the seed will be planted? Too cold? Too hot? Just right?
Well, when planting your home garden, you want that seed bed to be just right. You want the seeds to be comfortable so they will take off and germinate within their recommended days.
And one of the most neglected tools for vegetable gardeners is a soil thermometer. Soil temperature is a much better measure of when to plant than air temperature or the calendar. Planting when soil is too cool can cause seeds to rot and transplants to sit there.
How to Take a Soil Temperature
First of all, understand that there is a science behind taking soil temperature. It is totally not just a “stick a probe in the dirt” kind of test. There’s actually a certain way and certain time of day that a soil temperature should be conducted.
First of all, invest in a metal soil thermometer. Here’s a good one you can purchase for all your soil temperature needs. You can also find them at any garden, auto parts and hardware stores.
Next, take the temperature between 10 and 11 a.m. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons:
- The lowest readings on a soil thermometer is in the morning right after dawn.
- And the warmest temperature is mid-afternoon (3 p.m.)
- Therefore, a late-morning reading gives a great average soil temperature.
Finally, please make sure there will be no cold snap in the immediate future after planting your seeds. And record several days of consistent soil temperature at this time before planting.
But I’m at work at 10 a.m. I can’t take a soil temperature.
There’s a solution to this, friend. Here it is:
- First of all, take a reading before you leave for work.
- Then, a second reading when you return home.
- Average the two soil temperatures together. So, a.m. plus p.m. and divide by 2.
- You’ll need to get a consistent reading for four or five days in a row before planting.
And again, you’ll need to watch the weather and make sure there won’t be a cold snap any time soon. Fighting the weather can be a real struggle when it comes to baby veggies. Luckily, there are some crops you can plant amidst the chilliest of soil temperatures.
Crops Planted at 35 Degrees
The earliest spring crops can be planted then the temperature is 35 degrees. This is just above the freezing mark. These are the very first veggies you should be planting when you’re just itching to get those seeds into that garden. Here they are:
So, after determining the soil temperature data, go ahead and determine whether or not that soil is the right temperature for those early seeds. If the soil temperature is not 35 degrees, please don’t plant. The early bird never catches a worm.
In my zone 6a (Kansas), I’m usually out planting these veggies around the first of April. And this highly depends on how the weather has been. But also the weather forecast.
Also, potatoes are in this group as some of the first vegetables to plant around the end of March. Check out how to prep those potatoes before planting them.
Now, here are the veggies that should be planted at an even warmer soil temperature.
Crops Planted at 40 Degrees
Next, certain crops can be planted when the soil temperature is 40 degrees:
- Peas – Read about How I Tie Up Peas using Baling Twine
- Swiss Chard
Again, these seeds are to be planted when the soil temperature is at least 40 degrees. Now, here are some later spring crops to be planted when soil is at least 50 degrees.
Crops Planted at 50 Degrees
Then, a few crops need at least a 50 degree soil temperature for germination:
- Tomatoes – Read about how I stake young plants using baling twine.
Asparagus is unique because you don’t plant it every year. It keeps coming back. But, still, something to keep in mind when wanting to plant a new round of asparagus.
Crops Planted at 60 Degrees
Finally, the earliest crops planted at 60 degrees includes:
So, in the zone I live in, May 15 is usually a good time of the year for planting these crops that require a 60 degree soil temperature.
What Is My One-Page Soil Temperature Data Sheet?
Well, I’ve simply tried to make it easy for you. I’ve designed a one page soil temperature data listing that will tell you which vegetables you might be planting germinates best at what temperature.
Did I mention it’s for FREE? Well, not exactly. I do ask you to join my email list, which I do not and will NEVER spam. All the emails you receive are based upon my core values for Farm Fit Living’s message. Click here to read about what those core values are. Emails you receive are:
- Monday Motivational email every Monday
- Educational Newsletter: The 1st and 15th of each month.
- Occasional post from the blog if I think it would give you value.
So, you have nothing to lose by opting in to receive this soil temperature data sheet. So, what is in this soil temperature data sheet? Here are the main categories you’ll see.
What’s on the soil temperature data sheet?
First of all, you’ll see the crops column with 26 different vegetables you might be planting. There are a few fruits such as watermelon and muskmelon.
Next, the lowest temperature for germination. The temperature is Fahrenheit. You know these temperatures already from reading this post. But the next category, you won’t know unless you actually get the soil temperature data sheet.
It’s the best range for germination. And it’s a range so if your soil temp is in that range, you’re good to go.
Then, I give you the BEST temperature for germination. The lowest temperature is not always the best. So, the early bird does not always get the worm.
Finally, I give you the HIGHEST temperature for germination. This is generally for really warm soil and typically used for planting in the summer for the Fall garden.
So, can you find some value in this? How do you think this soil temperature data sheet can help you?
How does this soil temperature data sheet help you?
Why do you need this? How can this soil temperature data sheet help you?
- You’ll know what soil temperature certain seeds germinate best.
- Knowing soil temperature data will help you have a better germination rate.
- So, you can print it and keep it near you all through planting season!
But you also need to make sure you have that soil thermometer. The soil temperature data is proven through research. Soil temperature should never be a prediction with just your finger.
These Temperatures Should Never Be Predictions
Again, please purchase a soil thermometer. You can purchase one here. And follow the instructions above for taking the soil temperature correctly.
I’ve heard of people time and time again who just poke their fingers into the soil. Sure that’s ok to do, but it’s only a prediction. You’re finger can’t tell you the truth about your soil temperature.
The soil thermometer WILL tell the truth about your soil temperature data. And soil temperature is really something you don’t want to mess with. If you want a better germination rate in your garden, do the little things to be successful!
Grow a Successful Home Garden
It’s all about the little things. But knowing soil temperature data could make a huge difference in the amount of veggies you produce in your home garden.
Because germination is the first step after the seed is in the ground. You want the best quality environment for those seeds to do their best for you.
In conclusion, prepare your soil according to that soil test. Take the soil’s temperature and then plant according the recommended soil temperature data.
Finally, I wish you the ultimate best gardening season. Get out there and enjoy growing your own garden for your family.
Before you go, answer in the comments: What is your best gardening tip?
~ Much Love ~
Believer. Teacher. Mommy to Girls & Goats. Lover of the land. Farm Fresh Foodie. Wellness Coach. Welcome to my Rural Life!
Wondering When To Plant Veggies?
Soil temperature can tell you so much. And the temperature must be right for germination. So, I'm offering my soil temperature guide for FREE when you sign up for my email list.