Guide to Starting Vegetable Transplants

Vegetable Germination
Temperature ( F)
Number of Days
to Germination
Day Growing
Temperature ( F)
Sowing to Planting
Time (Weeks)
Broccoli 70-80 5-6 60-65 5-7
Brussels Sprouts 70-80 5-6 60-65 5-7
Cabbage 70-80 5-6 60-65 5-7
Cauliflower 70-80 5-6 60-65 5-7
Collards 70-80 5-6 60-65 5-7
Cucumber* 75-90 3-5 75-85 3-4
Eggplant 75-85 6-8 70-80 6-8
Kale 70-80 5-6 60-65 5-7
Lettuce 75 3-4 55-60 5-7
Muskmelon* 75-90 3-5 75-85 3-4
Onion 75 4-6 60-70 8-10
Pepper 75-85 7-8 70-80 6-8
Okra* 75-85 6-9 70-80 6-8
Pumpkin* 75-90 3-5 75-85 3-4
Squash* 75-90 3-5 75-85 3-4
Tomatillo 75-85 6-8 70-80 6-8
Tomato 75-85 5-7 70-80 5-7
Watermelon* 75-90 3-5 75-85 3-4

Notes

Germination Temperature - Seed germination occurs over a wide range of soil temperatures. For example, onion seeds germinate at temperatures of 35 to 95 F. However, optimum germination occurs at 75 F.

Days to Germination - Number of days for seeds to germinate when provided optimum temperature and moisture conditions.

Day Growing Temperatures - Optimum daytime temperature range for the development of sturdy, healthy seedlings. Night temperature should be 5 to 10 degrees cooler.

* Vine crops (cucumber, muskmelon, pumpkin, squash, and watermelon) and okra do not transplant well. For best results, sow these vegetables directly into peat pots.

This article originally appeared in the 2/11/2005 issue.

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