Sowing seeds is a great way to start new vegetable and flower plants. But there are a few things you need to know to ensure your seeds germinate properly.
The key is to follow the instructions on your seed packet for planting depth and spacing. This will vary with each type of seed.
Choose the Right Seeds
Choosing seeds for sowing can be an overwhelming task. Seed catalogs and packets can seem like a kaleidoscope of possibilities, but it’s important to select seeds that will do well in your area and garden.
Ensure that the seed company you buy from is a reliable source. Look for seeds that are open-pollinated or heirloom varieties.
It’s also a good idea to purchase a variety of seeds so you can try different varieties and see which ones do best in your region. Then, you can select the best ones for your garden and grow a more bountiful harvest every season!
It’s also a good idea to buy from a trusted seed company so you can get seeds that are the most likely to germinate, grow and produce fruit and vegetables. Some companies are known for their high-quality seeds and good customer service. These include Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange and High Mowing Organic Seeds.
Sow Seeds in the Right Place
Direct sowing seeds outdoors is an excellent option for some flowers, herbs and vegetables. It requires fewer supplies and equipment than starting them indoors in seedling trays, and it’s usually easy to transplant plants into garden beds or larger pots when they’re ready.
Most seeds germinate best if they are sown directly into the ground where they’ll grow. Prepare a sunny spot and till the soil a little to give them a good base to send their roots down into.
A general rule of thumb is to plant seeds at a depth that’s about three times the size of the seed itself. Small seeds should be sown very shallow, while large ones are better planted a bit deeper to increase germination success.
If you are sowing many different types of seeds, mark the planting areas to help you keep track of which ones you’ve sown. You can do this by using popsicle sticks, plastic spoons or tongue depressors.
Sow Seeds at the Right Time
Seeds need to be sown at the right time in order to germinate properly. This is based on the soil’s temperature and also a plant’s specific needs, so it’s important to remember the basics of seed germination.
If you’re unsure of the best time to sow seeds, there are plenty of resources online that can give you an idea of when it’s safe to start seeds. But these often aren’t very accurate and depend on a particular region, so make sure you create your own calendar based on the last frost date in your area.
This is especially important for summer vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers, which take a long time to grow and produce edible fruits. The earliest you can start these seeds indoors is in the spring, before temperatures drop too low. This will mean that you can harvest them earlier and longer, which is a great bonus! Alternatively, they can be directly sown into the garden as soon as the weather permits.
Sow Seeds at the Right Depth
Getting the seed depth right is vital for good seed germination. The wrong depth may inhibit germination or cause weak plants.
It is generally recommended that seeds be sown at a depth that is about twice their diameter. This ensures that they are properly covered by soil and have a chance to absorb sunlight, moisture, and warmth.
Small seeds like lettuce and thyme are particularly sensitive to deep sowing, while larger ones are less tolerant.
The problem is that sowing seeds too deep can prevent them from absorbing enough sunlight to germinate. Additionally, they can also be exposed to predators such as birds and squirrels that may wash them away or dry them out.
The best way to get the right planting depth is to conduct thorough research on the specific seeds you have. Many seed companies offer information about the ideal plant depth for their varieties on their websites.