Vegetable sowing: The right temperature for the preculture

Each type of plant has an optimal germination temperature at which strong sprouts grow quickly from the seeds. Vegetable seeds germinate at these temperatures.

Only use fresh seeds, as seeds lose their ability to germinate over time. Pay attention to the shelf life, which is usually stated on the package

If you want to harvest delicious vegetables as early as possible, you should start sowing early. You can sow the first vegetables in March. Especially when it comes to species that start to bloom and fruit late, such as artichokes, peppers and eggplants, you shouldn’t wait too long. Fruit vegetables from exotic regions and exotic fruits, such as Andean berries, require high cultivation temperatures. Cabbage and leeks have lower demands, leafy vegetables like spinach and chard, but also the robust root vegetables like it rather cool. Salad in particular sprouts slowly at temperatures above 18 degrees Celsius.

If you have sown broadly in growing trays, the seedlings are “pricked”, that is transplanted into single pots, as soon as the first leaves grow. Then you lower the temperature slightly (see table). The following applies: the less light, the cooler the further cultivation takes place, so that the young plants grow more slowly and remain compact. If the temperatures in the cold frame or greenhouse fall below the stated values, the risk of shooters increases, especially with kohlrabi and celery.

Germination temperatures for vegetable seeds

Cool preculture
(12 to 16 ° C)

Broad beans (broad beans), peas, carrots, lettuce, parsnips, radishes and
Radishes, spinach

After germination at 10 to 20 ° C
continue cultivating


Heat demand
(16 to 20 ° C)

Cauliflower and broccoli, chicory, kohlrabi, tuber fennel, chard, may and autumn turnips, leek, parsley, beetroot, chives, celery, onions, savoy cabbage

After germination at 16 to 20 ° C
continue cultivating


Warm cultivation
(22 to 26 ° C)

Andean berries, eggplants, broad beans and runner beans, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and zucchini, peppers and hot peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn

After pricking at 18 to 20 ° C
continue cultivating

The seed soil should be fine-grained and low in nutrients. You can get special propagation soil from retailers, but you can also make such soil yourself. Spread the seeds evenly over the soil. You can also sow large seeds such as peas and nasturtiums individually in small pots or multi-pot plates, fine seeds, however, better in seed trays. Press the seeds and soil lightly so that the germinating roots immediately come into contact with the ground. On the seed package you will find information on whether the plants are dark or light germs. So-called dark germs should be sprinkled with a thin layer of soil, while the seeds of light germs remain on the surface.

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