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Sowing seeds directly into beds

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Sowing seeds directly into beds

Post  castoral on 5/2/2010, 8:36 am

I feel like this is such a dumb question, but I have to ask. What is the "proper" way to directly sow seeds in your raised beds?

The reason I ask is because on Easter I planted several things, carrots, lettuce, spinach, etc. I planted a few per "hole" - so spinach was 16 per square, but then in each of the 16 "holes" I put two or three seeds thinking it was like starting seeds...if two came up, you just picked all but the strongest plant.

Problem is, only about a fourth of the plants have come up at all. The ones that have look like they are doing great, but there is a lot of bare spots in the sqaures.

So should I wait? Or should I replant? Or what?



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Re: Sowing seeds directly into beds

Post  camprn on 5/2/2010, 8:45 am

No dumb questions here. Did you follow the label instruction for depth of planting? You did not indicate your location, it could be the soil is too cool still. You do not want to over water at this point. When I plant the things you mentioned, I usually just prep the soil mix and let fall a good amount of seed in the square, not a lot, but not in holes or little rows either. Then I cover the seed with the mix to get the suggested depth on the seed packet. Then I lightly water. When the seedlings begin to emerge and have their first true leaves I thin the seedlings. In the end I will have the number of plants per square that I want. Go ahead and put in a few more seeds now and see what happens. Good luck. Very Happy


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Just my opinion

Post  mjk12 on 5/2/2010, 9:24 am

Years ago on the PBS SFG show, I believe that Mel said to use small scissors to thin out the excess sprouts, as you don't want to disturb the root system. I would go with that advice above all.

Having said that, there are times that I carefully worked some new excess sprouts out to thin and replanted them in the bare spots and they worked out just fine.


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Re: Sowing seeds directly into beds

Post  castoral on 5/2/2010, 11:15 am

Thank you for the reply. I'm in the very northern tip of 5a (Dayton,Ohio). I did follow the directions according to depth, and the seeds all were all to be sown during cooler weather. I've held off plant any varieties that said to wait for frost free period, those will be planted over the next week. All of these stated something along the lines of "early spring/as soon as soil can be worked/etc." They are all getting full sun as directed. The only thing I can think of is watering. We've had quite a bit of rain here, some rather hard downpours. I've been a little worried they were getting TOO much water, but I wasn't sure what I could do to prevent that. On the other days, I water lightly at night before heading inside for the night.

Anyway, thanks for the reply. I guess I will try to replant in the bare spots while I get the rest of my garden going throughout this week. I'll just sprinkle th whole area with some seeds, cover it with 1/2" mix (most call for 1/2" depth) and thin out later. Thanks!


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Sowing seeds directly into beds

Post  janetgouvas on 5/2/2010, 11:43 am

I had the same problem with some of my seeds. I concluded that some of the seeds were birdfood. They just didn't find them all so I'll use precausions the next time. Some, the zuccini and green beans, came up a lot later than they should have. The same thing happened last year with my watermelons. After I replanted everything came up at once. Possibly, I planted too deep. This year my zuccini didn't sprout so I bought plants and put them in instead. Then the seeds popped up and I now have to move them to other places. I"m going to have a lot of squash, God willin' and the white flies don't rise

Surprise, Az.


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Re: Sowing seeds directly into beds

Post  donnainzone5 on 5/2/2010, 3:23 pm

According to Mel's spacing, spinach is 9 per square foot. With good germination rates, one needn't plant more than 1-2 seeds per "hole." Yes, using scissors to thin extra seedlings works well.

I believe I've been guilty of planting some seeds too deeply. This year, my cats managed to scatter and/or dig my broccoli seeds more deeply, so I re-planted. The result? Three or four plants in one square! And no good place to move them to.

Fortunately, the compost-fortified Mel's Mix in that bed was kind to the brocolli, and I'm harvesting the best crop ever of this vegetable. I plan to experiment by steaming or sauteeing some of the leaves. The remainder will go into my compost tumbler.


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Re: Sowing seeds directly into beds

Post  castoral on 5/3/2010, 12:50 pm

Yes, the spinach spacing was 9 per sq foot. I didn't have my garden layout in front of me. ;P

Hopefully the rain holds off tonight and I'm going to replant some seeds. I'd rather have to trim back a bunch of extra seedlings than only have 2 or 3 plants come in per sq ft and have a bunch of unused space! I hadn't really thought of the birds...don't think it's an issue since I've never seen birds around the planters, but maybe a possibility.

Hopefully this time they all come up!


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Re: Sowing seeds directly into beds

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