Planting Vegetables By Soil Temperature:
Soil temperature is the most important parameter one should watch for when planting a vegetable garden. The following is a planting guide for different vegetables according to soil temperature. Soil temperature is more stable than air temperature, because the land mass keeps the temperature at a more stable.
Each vegetable has its particular temperature range in which it performs the best. Vegetables like peas, spinach and beets thrive in cold climate; greens and cole crops such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower can tolerate some level of cool temperature; and beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and basil must have high enough temperature to growth. Observing these rules can greatly increase the chance for success when grow a vegetable garden.
More tips: For vegetables you started indoors, it is important to transplant them at the right temperature. And be sure to harden the plants off before the transplanting. Hardening off means to allow the vegetable starts acclimate to the outdoor condition gradually, this can be done by bring the starts outside a during the day, and bring them back in the greenhouse at night. Plants that are properly hardened off perform much better after transplanting.
If you would like to get your vegetables earlier in the garden, one way to do it is by raising the soil temperature. This can be accomplished as simple as covering the ground with a piece of clear plastic. Prepare the soil for planting, and then cover it up with a piece of 6-mil thick clear plastic. The covered area will trap the heat underneath the covered area. After a few days, take your soil thermometer and measure the temperature. When the temperature reaches to the level where certain vegetables can be planted, sow the seeds. Continue to cover the area until the seedlings emerge. This will give you a head start on soiling some of the vegetables that requires high temperature than the weather allows.