Date of this Version



© 1998, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Dates on which soil temperatures reach a threshold value are presented as a spring planting guide for agronomic and horticultural producers.

For a seed to germinate it must have good contact with the soil and be placed in a favorable soil environment. A good soil environment is one that has suitable soil temperature, adequate soil moisture, good aeration, and for certain seeds, light. Conditions necessary for germination depend on the species and variety of seed being planted. Alone, none of these factors guarantee germination; rather it is the interaction of these factors that affects seed germination.

In Nebraska, soil moisture is usually adequate at planting; good aeration is normally achieved through normal tillage; and few of the state's agronomic and horticultural crops require light for germination. When it comes to germination of spring-planted crops, soil temperature becomes an important factor since it affects both the capacity for and rate of germination.