A bountiful harvest

A bountiful harvest

Every winter, many Florida homeowners enjoy growing their own vegetable plants.  It is definitely cheaper to buy vegetable seeds than vegetable transplants, and some vegetables grow better when direct seeded.

One factor to take into consideration when planning a vegetable garden is that each vegetable has a different germination response to temperature.  Some seeds germinate best under low soil temperature while other respond best under high soil temperatures.

When planting vegetable seeds, remember that cool season crops, such as cabbage, turnips, and cauliflower, will perform best under cooler soil conditions.

The key to getting the highest seed germination rate is to match the correct soil temperature to the vegetable seed of choice.
Below is a listing of correct soil temperatures needed for vegetable seed germination.

MINIMUM Soil Temperature for Germination in Degrees Fahrenheit

  • 32​- Endive, Lettuce, Onion, Parsnip, and Spinach
  • 40 ​-Beet, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Parley, Pea, Radish, Swiss Chard, and Celery​
  • 50​-Asparagus, Sweet Corn, Tomato, and Turnip
  • 60​-Lima bean, Snap Bean, Cucumber, Okra, and Pepper
  • 65​-Eggplant, Muskmelon, Pumpkin, Squash, and Watermelon

OPTIMUM Soil Temperature for Germination in Degrees Fahrenheit

  • 70​-Celery, Parsnip, and Spinach
  • 75​-Asparagus, Endive, Lettuce, and Pea
  • 80​-Lima Bean, Carrot, Cauliflower, Onion, Radish, Tomato, Turnip
  • 85​-Snap Bean, Beet, Broccoli, Cabbage, Eggplant, Parsley, Pepper, Sweet Corn, and Swiss Chard
  • 95​-Cucumber, Muskmelon, Okra, Pumpkin, Squash, and Watermelon.

MAXIMUM Soil Temperature for Germination in Degrees Fahrenheit

  • 75 ​-Celery, Endive, Lettuce, and Spinach
  • 85​-Lima Beans, Parsnip, and Pea
  • 95​-Asparagus, Snap Bean, Beet, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Onion, Parsley, Pepper, Radish, Swiss Chard, and Tomato
  • 106​-Cucumber, Muskmelon, Okra, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Corn, Turnip, and Watermelon
Eddie Powell
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