Edible gardening guide

How to grow delicious vegetables, herbs, and fruit at home

Sowing seeds in the ground

How to sow seeds for different kinds of plants

Many annuals, wildflowers, and vegetables can be seeded directly in the garden, either broadcast over a bed to give a planted-by-Nature look or sown in the traditional rows of a vegetable or cutting garden.

Many other plants, however, are best raised from seed sown in containers. These include slow-growing perennials, plants with expensive or very fine seed, and warm-season vegetables and annuals that you want to start when the garden soil is still too cold and wet for in-ground planting.

Flowers and vegetables to direct-sow

Certain easy-to-grow plants do best when sown directly in the garden, because they have delicate root systems or taproots that make successful transplantation from containers difficult.

Such plants include:

Whether you're sowing a wildflower mixture or several kinds of annuals for a showy border, start by preparing the soil. Remove weeds, then loosen the soil and work in amendments with a spading fork, shovel, or rototiller.

Add a complete fertilizer in the amount directed on the label. Finally, smooth the soil with a rake.

If rain doesn't do the job for you, moisten the bed thoroughly a few days before you intend to plant. At sowing time, the soil should be moist but not soggy.

Next: How to plant in rows


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