If you are growing a garden you have to plant seeds, right? Planting seeds can sometimes be a little tricky. There are so many different sizes and shapes and each seed has its own requirements.
Planting seeds is not difficult; it just needs to be done right. It is disheartening to put the effort in planting your garden and not getting anything or having very few seeds come up.
I planted early carrots in the hoop house and very few came up. I think the seed was old and pass its prime, kinda’ like me. There are a lot of variables with seeds that you will learn as you garden.
Let’s start with seed sizes
Have you tried to sow those tiny little carrot seeds, or take lettuce; the seeds are so small that you usually get too many in a row and they are crowded. What to do? I have one of those little inexpensive hand sowers. It looks like a dial with a spout. You may have seen them in the catalogs.
It is very simple, but gets the job done. That is my kind of tool. You lift the top off, place the seeds inside, turn the dial to the correct size for the seed and tap until the seed falls off the end of the spout. Simple!
Covering small seeds is a critical process
It just takes a very light covering of soil to get these tiny seeds to germinate. If you get them too deep they will not come up. In the warm summer sun I will place a cloth over the seeds and keep watered well to get them started. Once they sprout I remove the cloth. Shade can be a good thing in the middle of the season.
To cover small seeds I will pick up a handful of loose soil and sift it through my fingers, letting it fall on the seeds very lightly. Sometimes I will use very fine compost, if I have any.
Sowing larger seeds is pretty straight forward
But, there are a couple of tricks you may like to hear. Watch your seed depth. Each seed packet will have directions for plant that seed. Try to follow the directions the best you can.
Something you may want to try is tamping the soil down over the row when done. This provides good seed and soil contact and removes some of the air around the seed. Don’t pack the soil, just firm it over the row.
Beans have a hard time getting up through the soil crust
I like to put compost over the row of beans rather than pulling the soil into the row. I just tamp it down like I do the soil and the beans have an easier time breaking through the compost than soil. If you live with a sandy soil you may not have any problems, but if you are on clay soil, as I am, it tends to crust over and the beans will not be able to fully push their heads through the crust.
When I am done planting a row of seeds I will soak the row with water. Every couple of days, depending on the weather I will water until the seeds get a start. This ensures the seeds get through the ground. If they lay there too long they can rot.
Temperature is also important. Wait until the soil is warm enough to sprout the seeds before planting. How warm you ask? Depends. Every seed is different. Your seed packed will give you a lot of info about that.
Hope that is a help to getting your seeds in the ground and growing this spring and summer.
Steve Wisley has been gardening organically for over a quarter of a century. Gardening is a great way to, not only, grow great tasting, healthy, chemical free food that is good for your family, but gardening is reconnecting with your soul. It is getting your hands in the stuff that life is based upon, and it can heal some of hurt you feel inside.
Steve started this blog to guide others in starting and improving their organic garden to produce healthy, nutritious, great tasting food for their family. Pick up your copy of the booklet “6 Easy Common Sense Tips To Ban Bugs From Your Garden Without Chemicals”.