A tip for Great Lakes gardeners

terry_neoh(5b)April 26, 2014

If you can't check your soil temperature, and are wondering when is a good time to plant certain vegetables, you can check the surface temperature of the lake nearest to you.

My father-in-law (bless his soul) would wait until Lake Erie was 50F before planting his field corn. I try to wait until 55F before planting tomatoes and peppers. This is not a predictor of frost, but some things just won't grow until the ground is warm enough.

As you can see in the link, Lake Erie is only about 40 now.
-Terry

Here is a link that might be useful: Surface temperatures

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Slimy_Okra(2b)

I think Lake Superior is an exception; it stays under 40 degrees F until late June most years.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glib(5.5)

Lake Erie is the exception because it is so shallow. Well, Lake Superior is an exception too, because it is still 70% frozen.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terry_neoh(5b)

Just to be clear, I am referring to surface temperature. The link can be used to find any area of any Great Lake. Western OH/Eastern IN is a world center for tomato culture. Minnesota is not.

Here is a link that might be useful: pick your lake

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glib(5.5)

The old way to plant tomatoes was "when the lilacs bloom". Good also if you live away from the Great Lakes. I have already planted two, and will cover with a plastic tent in case of need. The other 28 when the lilacs bloom.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 10:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jonagold

Or you can just google soil temperature map and find your current local temps, The one I use in Illinois is updated daily.

Here is a link that might be useful: Illinois state water survey - soil information

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Slimy_Okra(2b)

The thing about Lake Superior, though, is the immense water volume. Water is densest at 4 degrees C (39 degrees F), with the density decreasing both below and above this temperature. So as the ice-cold water warms, it sinks, bringing colder (

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:50PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Unforecasted late frost
I'm pretty much a newbie. I transplanted a yellow...
Katie Gooding
pepper problems
Hey everyone! My pepper blossoms are falling off! I...
Ankjlkhu Bkjjghfy
Planting where dog used to poop
We haven't had a god in two years. Is it okay to plant...
Theresa24
tomatoes
What's your favorite?
sweetgardenangel
good weed fighters
Am looking for ideas to fight off weeds. Currently...
sepulvd
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™