Best Soil Thermometer | How to Measure soil Temperature?

Soil Thermometer

Soil Thermometer also called Earth Thermometer specially designed to measure the temperature of the soil. A soil thermometer is a useful tool for gardeners for plantings. This thermometer also used by farmers, climate scientists, and soil scientists.

Soil temperature provides great information especially when charted over time. People who monitor soil and climate health also uses the best soil temperature.

To make planting decisions soil thermometer is key for gardeners and farmers. Whether the planting seeds or seedling, if the soil is too cold the plants may die.

People use guidelines like date of the most recent frost, the surrounding air temperature, time of the year, soil temperature measurement is very important to confirm whether the soil is ready for the growing season.

Soil thermometers allow people to reach deep into the soil. Using a traditional mercury bulb thermometer design, the soil is pulled out to take a reading.

Other thermometers have displayed on the top which is digital or analog and quickly note down the reading. To take the measurement, the thermometer bulb is inserted into the soil and the stem lying on the surface.

How to Measure Soil Temperature?

Different veggies germinate at different temperatures. If we are planting seeds, it is important to check the soil temperature. Below are the steps followed to measure soil temperature with a soil thermometer.

  • If planting seeds or new plants, measurement is taken at recommended planting depth. If it is for a mixed garden then check at least 5-6 inches deep.
  • To make a pilot hole use a screwdriver so that the thermometer will not break while pushing it hard into the soil.
  • Follow the specific instructions on the thermometer package. Make sure for the bulb thermometers, the bulb firmly touching the soil and few minutes to register the temperature.
  • In the bright sunlight shade the thermometer with hand to keep the reading accurate.
  • Take multiple measurements, take the average of reading temperatures in the morning and late afternoon. If planning to do seeding the lawn, need to take readings from all the four sides of your house because some areas warm quickly than others.
  • Double-check the readings every time and refer to the Soil Temperature Map from Green cast to compare with your soil reading.

Vegetable Seed Germination Temperature

  • Lettuce, Kale, Spinach, Peas: 40° F or Warmer
  • Onions, Leeks, Turnips, Swiss chard: 50° F or Warmer
  • Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrots, Beans, Beets: 60° F or warmer
  • Tomatoes, Squash, Corn, Cucumber, Melons, Peppers: 70° F or warmer

The seed germination temperature is much warmer than plants growing temperature. Once seeded many plants and veggies handle cooler temperatures as long as the soil is warm. If you want to do the spring planting, plant the seeds indoor, or use plastic covers to warm the soil quickly.

5 Best Soil Thermometer

Vee Gee Scientific 82160-6 Dial Soil Thermometer

Vee Gee Scientific Soil Temperature

Vee Gee Scientific Thermometer is with a 6-inch stainless steel stem and 3-inch glass-covered display for durability.  The temperature range from -40 to 160 degree F. The soil temperature reading is accurate with the Vee Gee thermometer.

It comes with a simple adjustable nut on the back for recalibration. The temperature is shown changes for 2 degree F increments. This thermometer is easy to use and recalibration. The product dimensions are 8*4*3.6 inches and with 6.35 ounces.

Cost: $17.47

Taylor Precision Products Soil Testing Thermometer

Taylor Precision Products

Taylor Precision thermometer used for indoor/outdoor soil to determine the right time for planting and seeding. The thermometer is easy to use and measure the temperature between 20-180 degrees F. The face of the dial is easy to read with features like minimum, maximum, and optimal temperature ranges. By this, we cannot guess when to plant.

The soil thermometer gives accurate readings where ever we place it. If we leave the thermometer in one spot to check the temperature on daily or quickly check containers or areas in a matter of minutes. The features of the Taylor Precision thermometer are heavy-duty, stainless steel construction, and with a 4-inch stem which allows measuring at least 2 inches below the surface for accurate readings.

Cost: $8.81

Compost Soil Thermometer by Greenco

Compost Soil Thermometer by Greenco

A compost thermometer is a durable construction with a solid 20-inch diameter stem and reinforced welded bolt between dial and stem for long-lasting operations. It is with high quality 304 stainless steel. The dial is clear and accurate which is easy to read 2 inches wide and color-coded temperature ranges between 40 -180 degrees F.

The lenses are of high quality and lightweight PC coated. The compost thermometer is hermetically sealed to avoid moisture and fogging and also with IP55 water-resistant rating. The thermometer is having composting instructions to get started.

Cost: $22.99

Luster Leaf 1625 Digital Soil Thermometer

Luster Leaf Digital

Luster Leaf thermometer is a great tool for determining the soil temperature for the early season and transplanting. It is having a modern digital screen so that we can easily read the values. The dial soil temperature recommendations for several plant varieties.

The thermometer is with guidelines for germination and transplant temperatures. Luster Leaf thermometer is having a long probe length that gives plenty of lengths to obtain proper readings. It is specifically designed and calibrated for soil use only. This is one of the leaders in soil testing from Rapitest.

Cost: $14.99

REOTEMP K82-3 Soil Thermometer

REOTEMP Soil Temperature

REOTEMP thermometer is corrosion resistant with a 304 stainless steel case, bezel, and 7-inch stem. It is perfect for seeding, transplanting, and gardening. REOTEMP has a 2-inch dial to easily read the temperature and the temperature ranges between 0-220 degrees F.

It has a protective sheet with a pocket clip and waterproof for easy cleaning. REOTEMP is an accurate and rugged pocket thermometer featuring quick response time due to its quality bimetal element with no batteries. We can recalibrate with the calibration screw.

Cost: $14.99

Buyer Guidance for Best Soil Thermometer

Before purchasing a soil thermometer we have to consider some factors. Most of the farmers find challenges to buy various equipment of farming that meets their requirements. So to buy the best soil thermometers here are the factors to look into before buying.

Length of Probe

To take the soil temperature the thermometer has to be inserted shallowly or more deeply into the earth. Most of the thermometers take through a 2-inch length at the tip of the thermometer. For getting accurate temperatures we should choose the thermometer with long probe length.

Construction of Thermometer

Thermometers are of two types, digital or analog. A digital thermometer is best to provide the exact temperature. Analog thermometers are waterproof and can use them continuously and leave anywhere open without worrying about rain.

The construction material is also crucial. Thermometer with stainless steel, plastic, or a combination of both is available in markets. To use roughly stainless steel thermometer are best. Look out for the thermometers which are tightly sealed so that water will stop reaching the thermometer.

Temperature Range

Mostly recommended checking the thermometer with the mark of 35 to 75 degrees F inside before buying. Consider the soil temperature for accurate timing to get a better chance of seeing the crops germinating timely.


Depending on the requirement of the thermometer, consider the stem. A thermometer with a short stem is best for seeding purposes. If you want to know the root area temperature a long stem thermometer considered.


From the above information now everyone will have an idea of the best soil thermometer is able to do. So make your garden and before that test your soil temperature by soil thermometer.

Accordingly, purchase one with the above guidelines and your requirement. Last but not least get an indoor/outdoor soil thermometer which will be useful in the long run for all-purpose.


How to determine soil temperature without a thermometer?

We cannot determine the soil temperature without a thermometer. People use Soil thermometers to get to know the PH value and temperature of the soil before seeding or planting.

What is the difference between a Meat Thermometer and a Soil Thermometer?

The only difference between typical meat thermometer and soil thermometer is that the latter tends to measure lower temperatures, and the Mainstays Quick-Response Thermometer goes all the way down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit so that you can test meat temperatures in the freezer as well as on the grill.

What kind of Soil Thermometer is best?

Depending upon the various factors and features there are few soil thermometers that are best for gardeners and farmers. They are Vee Gee Scientific 82160-6 Dial Soil Thermometer, Taylor Precision Products Soil Testing Thermometer, Compost Soil Thermometer by Greenco, etc.

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