How Can I Find Out Soil Temperature?
El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.
Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.
English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.
Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.Collapse ▲
Soil temperature is an important factor in deciding when to sow seeds, apply herbicides, and perform other lawn and garden tasks. There are two easy ways you can monitor soil temperatures in your area: using free online tools or with a soil thermometer.
The NC CRONOS Database, developed by the State Climate Office of North Carolina, enables the public to quickly and easily retrieve observations from 12,983 active weather sites in and around North Carolina.
Visit the NC CRONOS Map to view current weather conditions for over a dozen parameters including soil temperature. Below is a map of soil temperatures (measured at 3 cm deep) retrieved from NC CRONOS for the 39 stations that record this parameter, as of 1:30 p.m. on February 12, 2016.
NOTE: You will need to select soil temperature from the pull down menu on the upper right side of the page to change it from the default setting of air temperature.
For more in-depth readings from a specific site, click on the green/blue dot for that location. This will allow you to retrieve data from an hourly, daily or monthly basis. Choose “daily” to retrieve average soil temperature readings from the last 90 days.
Below is a graph of average daily soil temperatures for the Siler City station, recorded between Nov. 14, 2015 and Feb. 12, 2016.
This map was generated by:
- Clicking on the Siler City station
- Selecting the DAILY data tab
- Checking ‘soil temperature daily average’ from the list of parameters
- Then clicking the RETRIEVE DATA button at the bottom of the page
Be sure to take advantage of this useful and valuable tool whenever you need accurate current or historical weather data.
Soil thermometers can be purchased for as little as $10 from garden centers, garden supply catalogs, and online retailers. The following tips for using soil thermometers come from Ellen Phillips with the University of Illinois Extension:
“To determine the soil temperature, simply push the thermometer into the soil to the depth of planting. For transplants it is best to determine the soil temperature at 4 inches. If the soil is very dense, you can use a screwdriver to make a initial hole to the right depth so that the thermometer doesn’t get bent when pushing it into the soil. It is best to do this in several locations throughout the field.
Because soil temperatures are influenced by air temperatures and sunshine, take soil temperatures for several days and average the temperatures to determine the average soil temperature for the field. Soil temperatures tend to be coolest between 6 and 8 a.m. in the morning and should be used as a guide as to when to plant or when to look for germinating weeds. In the heat of summer you can check for the maximum soil temperatures between 3 and 5 p.m.”
Use Extension Search to find research based information from Cooperative Extension systems across the U.S.
Extension Gardener classes and workshops teach science-based, sustainable gardening principles and practices for central NC. Sign up for upcoming classes.
Help spread science-based, sustainable gardening information and advice in your community by becoming an Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteer! Learn more about the Extension Master Gardener℠ Program in Chatham County.
Subscribe to the Chatham Gardener email list to receive timely updates on sustainable lawn, garden, and landscape care for the central NC Piedmont.