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Soil Temperature- Tips You Can Implement Now

March 24th, 2014

 

 

Have you heard? Knowing the last frost date in your area is crucial for starting your spring vegetable garden. Perhaps you’ve heard this advice as many times as an Adele song on the radio, but you’re having trouble finding a good planting date based on a calendar guide. Even natives have mistakenly planted too early or too late in the season. We have a few tips regarding soil temperature to get you warmed up (pardon the pun) for planting season.

Soil Temperature Tips You Can Implement Now

- If you’re new to gardening, try cold tolerant and hardy vegetables first – think broccoli, carrots and collards. This leaves more wiggle room for mistakes, or an unexpected late frost. If you’d like to learn more about what to grow, check out our post on Frost Tolerant Plants.

- Be patient and wait for optimum soil temperatures. (the payoff is worth it!)

- Learn how to take a correct soil temperature (see our guide below).

- Be prepared for the chance of an unexpected late frost. Store a blanket, or have another method for protecting plants from freezing temperatures handy.

- Consider using organic compost in lieu of store bought fertilizer. It will enrich your soil with vital nutrients, and it acts as a natural pesticide and soil conditioner.

- Strongly consider using mulch to stabilize soil temperature, especially in the warmer months. Mulch will also increase moisture levels, suppress weed growth, and safeguard against erosion.

Check out, if you’d like:

Here’s a handy list of desired soil temperatures for a variety of vegetables and herbs. (This list includes the minimum, optimum, and maximum soil temperatures for growing from seed. Be sure to also pay attention to the letters “b,” “c,” and “d” next to each vegetable, as “b” indicates a hardy vegetable for direct seeding, and the “c” & “d” signifies a tender vegetable for direct seeding.) Our Humble Seed Garden Planner also gives valuable insights and specifics for successfully planting 22 popular vegetable varieties.

4 Simple Steps To Using A Soil Thermometer

1 Buy an inexpensive probe thermometer: These are available at local gardening centers or online. The most cash-friendly thermometers have a glass bulb and a strong metal point, and they work just fine.

2 Find the recommended depth of your seed: Plan on checking the soil at that plant depth. If you’re planting a variety of seeds, then plan on checking at least 5-6 inches deep.

3 Make a pathway for the thermometer: Use a screwdriver to pilot a hole so that the thermometer will not break in hardier soils.

4 Follow Directions: Use the instructions on the thermometer package for the most accurate reading. Take multiple measurements by reading the temperature at different points of the day, including sunny and shaded times.

*Friends, what are your tips for checking and using soil temperatures for direct seeding?

 

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed. We’re also proud to say we have taken the Safe Seed Pledge!

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Planning a Spring Vegetable Garden: Things to Consider

February 10th, 2011

 

Cold weather may be upon us yet but it’s never too early to plan a spring garden, because when you plan properly, you’ll find that your garden is more productive and rewarding. And when you plan ahead you will have saved yourself the time and effort it takes to keep your garden growing as best as possible due to important factors.

If you’re ready to grow your own foods for the first time, you will want to keep a couple of things in mind when planning your garden:

1. Location. A garden spot with loose, well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight is necessary. You will also want to consider the proximity to your water source.

2. Garden plan. Will you be growing a lot of your family’s favorite herbs and vegetables? If so, you’ll want to make sure your garden is big enough to accommodate your plants according to spacing and size. If you’ll be working with a smaller garden, you’ll want to consider planting vegetables that offer higher yields, such as bell peppers, bush snap beans and tomatoes. If you would like a continuous supply of vegetables, don’t plant too many of one type of vegetable at once. Instead, plant seeds at intervals so that you have a steady supply of herbs and vegetables for harvesting. Draw out your garden plan. Include each of the following on your plan: location in your yard according to sunlight, location of each type of herb and vegetable, length of the rows for each vegetable, spacing between plants in rows and the rows themselves, planting dates, and which plants that will follow harvested vegetables.

3. Not sure what to sow? If you’re a first-time gardener, consider an herb garden. Herbs, such as basil, cilantro, oregano, and more are easy to grow. And there’s nothing better than using fresh herbs straight from the garden for meals of incomparable flavor. There are even some gardeners who grow herbs solely for their aromatic foliage and appearance. A small 4 x 6 foot area is plenty of space to grow all the herbs a small family needs.

This is bare bones glimpse into planning a simple garden, but the idea is that with just a little bit of time and effort you can grow a garden that will supply you and your family with fresh, healthy herbs and vegetables to get you through the growing season. It’s fun; it’s a great activity for the whole family; and it’s a money-saving venture. So get out your paper and colored pencils, plan out your garden then hang it on your bulletin board. You’ll have a great reminder of what’s in store for spring. It’s just around the corner!

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