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Min-Max Soil Temp for Veg Seed Germination

 
pollinator
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Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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My first year attempting to grow greens year 'round, I searched minimum soil temp for lettuce - as we're in transition here.   Found this handy quick reference and thought I'd share :)   I'm shocked that some of my favorites can be started as low as 32 degrees!

http://sacmg.ucanr.edu/files/164220.pdf
 
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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good information there susan, thanks for posting this.

Note that even though plants have a minimum temperature for germination that does not mean they should be expected to germinate with vigor at those low temps.
Usually there is an optimum germination temperature where the seed will germinate and sprout in a shorter time span and the sprout will grow with best vigor, thus it will be on the road to maturity at a faster rate as well.
Some plants that germinate at their low temp threshold will do well, others might not, it is part of the natural selection process.

The bulbs probably do best at that low temp threshold when compared to actual seeds of the same plant.

Redhawk
 
Susan Pruitt
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So right Bryant.   Some lettuces and even beets that  I planted a month ago are growing s-l-o-w-l-y.

First frost was last night so under the covers everything went!

I'm thinking that the minimum temps should only apply to early-early spring planting, not for Fall.   I've read other advice that fall/winter plantings should be started indoors and transplanted outside after true leaves are well established.
 
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Susan Pruitt wrote:So right Bryant.   Some lettuces and even beets that  I planted a month ago are growing s-l-o-w-l-y.

First frost was last night so under the covers everything went!

I'm thinking that the minimum temps should only apply to early-early spring planting, not for Fall.   I've read other advice that fall/winter plantings should be started indoors and transplanted outside after true leaves are well established.



Yeah I started Brassica transplants in seed cells August/September and they are just now taking off with a couple getting big (had to bring them inside because the insects/pests were nibbling on them even in the starter trays).

Growth will slow down even more when the "Persiphone Days" hit and we get less than 10 hours of sun. Supposedly 10 hours is the magic number for many plants and less than that will drastically reduces the growth rate.

In my zone (8b) that period only lasts about a month, but in some parts of the country it is much longer.  I soaked some lettuce seeds last night and will scatter them outside today, hopefully they put on some growth before our days get too short.

Here is a little program that shows you the daylight hours by location: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Dur_OneYear.php

 
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