Soil Temperature & Planting Veggies

It is not your imagination; this spring has been cooler than average.  Our current soil temperature is 47 degrees versus a five-year average of 58 degrees and a ten year average of 61 degrees.1

Most Vegetables have specific soil temperature requirements.

The following are minimum soil temperatures for transplants:

  • 60 F – tomatoes, cucumbers, snap beans
  • 70 F – peppers, watermelons, squash
  • 75 F – cantaloupe, sweet potatoes

Temperature is also an important for direct sowing seeds.

Here are the minimum soil temperatures for vegetables that are direct sowed:

  • 35 F – lettuce, spinach and other salad greens
  • 50 F – onions
  • 45 F – radishes
  • 50 F – beets, Swiss chard
  • 60 F – beans, snap and dry
  • 70 F – beans, lima
  • 40 F – peas
  • 60 F – corn

If your vegetables are already in the ground, don’t worry too much.  They just will not do much until the soil warms.  If you have not planted yet, just hang on to your plants for at least a week until the soil warms.

Today’s goal:  Take the day off and don’t plant that garden

Fair Entry Ideas

  • Forestry & Plants Education Item:  Effect of Soil Temperature on plants; Effects of Air Temperature on Soil Temperature; How to Warm your Soil in the Spring; …


  1.  Soil Temperature Map
  2. What’s the Right Soil Temperature
  3. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible  

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