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Vegetable Seed Germination Temperatures

Vegetable seed germination is greatly dependent upon soil temperature. Other near equal factors include seed vitality (the age of the seed), soil moisture, soil air, and soil conditions and workability.

This chart shows the range of soil temperatures needed for seed germination. The chart also shows the number of days to germination at optimum temperatures. Seed will germinate at temperatures between the minimum soil temperature and the optimum soil temperatures, but the number of days to germination will be greater.

Use this chart to determine if the soil temperature in the garden is right for seed starting the crop you want to plant. (Use a soil thermometer to take the soil temperature.) If the outdoor soil temperature is not right, you can likely start seed indoors at near optimum temperature.

Crop Germination
Minimum Soil
Temperature (°F)
  Germination
Optimum Soil
Temperature
Range (°F)
  Germination
Maximum Soil
Temperature (°F)
  Days to
Germination
at Optimal
Temps
Asparagus 50 60-85 95 14-18
Bean, lima 60 75-85 85 4-10
Bean, snap 60 75-85 95 4-10
Beet 40 60-85 95 4-10
Broccoli 40 60-85 95 7-10
Brussels sprouts 40 60-85 95 3-10
Cabbage 40 60-85 95 5-10
Carrot 40 65-85 95 6
Cauliflower 40 65-85 95 4-10
Celery 40 60-70 95 10
Chinese cabbage 40 60-85 95 4-10
Collards 40 60-85 95 5-10
Corn 50 65-95 105 4-10
Cucumber 60 65-95 105 5-7
Eggplant 60 75-85 95 10-15
Endive/Escarole 35 60-75 85 10-14
Garlic 35 65-85 95 7-14
Kale 40 60-85 95 5-7
Kohlrabi 40 60-95 105 5-10
Leeks 35 65-85 95 8-16
Lettuce 35 60-75 85 2-10
Muskmelon 60 75-95 105 4-10
Mustard 35 60-75 85 4-6
Okra 60 85-95 105 7-12
Onion 35 65-85 95 4-12
Parsley 40 65-85 95 5-6 weeks
Parsnip 35 65-75 85 5-28
Pea 40 65-75 85 5-7
Pepper 60 65-75 95 7-10
Pumpkin 60 85-95 105 4-10
Radicchio 35 60-75 85 5-7
Radish 40 65-85 95 4-10
Spinach 35 65-75 75 6-14
Squash 60 85-95 105 7-10
Swiss chard 40 65-85 95 7
Tomato 50 65-85 95 5-7
Turnip 40 60-95 105 3-10
Watermelon 60 70-95 105 4-10

For specific seed starting requirements for the crop you want to grow, seed specific crop seed starting directions. Go to the Index to find your crop or see Seed Starting Specific Crops also in the Index.

Also of interest: Seed Germination Requirements.

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