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A forum for growing rare fruits, edibles and Permaculture with a focus on tropicals.

Ground temps, interesting :)

Postby Jason_AU » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:38 pm

Cloudforest Expert
Posts: 190
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:21 pm
Location: 38 deg South 141 deg East
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 9
I was just walking around measuring ground temps just out of interest, it's 26c outside right now and in the shade in the areas where trees are growing well and under those trees the ground temp is 28-30c. This slowly warms up as you leave the immediate area the tree is in to about 44c out in the open where there is still green grass. Where the grass has died which is growing in size every day right now, the ground temps are around 50c and on bare Earth in some spots it was 70c (interestingly mostly in the area I've never been able to grow anything :p). There's no real point to the story except to remind me where are the good areas to plant stuff and why. I measured 70c in a spot where I had a fair bit of damage on young fig cuttings the other day when the air temp was 40c, if the air temp today is 26c and the ground in that spot is 70c.... you can imagine how hot it was when the air temp was 40c

Re: Ground temps, interesting :)

Postby fruitnut » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:33 am

Cloudforest Expert
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:53 pm
Climate Zone: 7a
How deep were you reading? The soil will be much cooler at deeper depths in those bare areas.

Re: Ground temps, interesting :)

Postby DavidLJ48 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:30 pm

Cloudforest Expert
Posts: 2285
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: San Joaquin Valley, CA
Climate Zone: Sunset Zone 14, USDA zone 9b
I usually measure the soil temps at 6 to 8 inches, where most root activity is taking place. I have found that here, where it gets hot every summer, shade and mulch greatly help my trees to be healthy and prosperous.

In the winter, the top 6 to 8 inches, is usually the cool down area, where I get banana and more sensitive cold plants kill or root rot; they are ok below the 6 to 8 inches. The more mulch and protection on the ground, the more water the the soil will retain here.

I find that where the area is shaded and mulched, it has a much slower releases of heat. I find that actualy under these conditions, plants survive better then bare ground. The heat is not all released on the first cold night or two, with nothing to spare the next time. The heat release is less, but more consistent. It makes sense, heat comes up nearer the surface, just like the water does in summer, if the soil is covered.

Is it any wonder, that forest are prime for all plants, they help each other.

Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b

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