It's the soil temperature that matters

I stood in the doorway and zoomed in to take this picture
It's the soil temperature that matters when one is deciding if it is time to sow seeds in the garden for cool season crops including peas, radishes, lettuce, spinach, etc.

For peas especially, the soil temperature should be 40F or higher, preferably just a tiny bit higher, for them to germinate.

So how does one determine if the soil temperature is 40F or higher?

One uses a soil thermometer.

I was going to use my soil thermometer today to see if the soil in my garden is even close to 40F.

However, I only got as far as opening the backdoor and looking across the snow-covered lawn toward the vegetable garden.  All that snow. Though some of it melted today, I decided I still didn't have on tall enough boots to get from the back patio across the lawn to the vegetable garden without getting snow in my shoes.

Perhaps I'll check again tomorrow?

Or next week?

Or on March 17th, the traditional day for planting peas around here?

Yes, I'll wait until March 17th, and if the snow has melted, I'll head out with my trusty soil thermometer and check the soil temperature.  My guess is it will be warm enough.

But I am an optimist by nature.


  1. Waiting patiently for snow to melt. I am having trouble thinking about planting anything with the snow still shining.

  2. Snow snow go away and don't come back another day! LOL!

  3. Ah, winter! It will be wonderful to see the ground again! I really do hope you will be planting peas on the 17th.....

  4. I am not very optimistic about your soil temperature, but you just keep on hoping! This coming week is supposed to be much warmer, so maybe a miracle will happen? I don't generally plant my peas till early April, and they do fine, so don't worry.

  5. I'm trying to decide when to plant sweet peas. I think I'll do it this week in a protected spot against the house, but I agree with you that it sure doesn't look the time to be planting much of anything yet. To a warm Spring! -Beth

  6. Still frozen here. Not even a peony bud to be seen.

  7. Snow is melting, I've got Crocus sprouts poking through here in Noblesville, IN! My first bulbs at my new house, so exciting! I was on crocus watch for only 2 days before spotting these - now the countdown until my first blooms of spring.

  8. What you talk about here is one of the most important factors to consider when attempting to grow nearly anything. As always, there are exceptions to the rule. I'd almost wager that you can tie germination rates and early season plant vigor to soil temperatures.

    Please feel welcome to check out and comment on my blog : http:// I'm always looking for new ideas and suggestions to improve both my garden and my blog.


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!