Tag Archives: germination temperature

SPRING SEEDING: WHEN?

Truth From a Thermometer

Stop by my vegetable garden this time of year and you might see one or more thermometers poking out of the ground. No, I’m not experimenting with a new way to monitor the soil’s health. Soil temperature can serve as a guide for timely sowing of seeds outdoors. Seed sown in soil that is too cold won’t germinate; just sitting there waiting for warmer weather, ungerminated seeds are liable to rot or be eaten by animals.

Lettuce, onion, parsnip, and spinach seeds can be planted earliest. They’ll germinate just about as soon as ice in the soil thaws. At the other end of the spectrum are seeds of melons and squash, which won’t germinate until the soil temperature reaches sixty-five degrees. The minimum temperature required for germination of other vegetable seeds is as follows: forty degrees for beets, cabbage and its kin, carrots, peas, chard, parsley, celery, and …

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