The following information is a general guide on Spring Seed Sowing, for more specific information always refer to the seed packet for specific instructions.
Most Different Types of Seeds
There are various types of seed available for purchase, you can buy natural seed, (that is seed straight from the plant and packaged up by the seed companies), and you can buy seed with easy planting applicators and packaging and they all produce good plants with a varying amount of planting effort.
When you are buying seeds you may see one called an F1 ‘Hybrid’. This is generally a more expensive seed produced by ‘crossing’ selected parent plants to produce a more productive cropping plant. F1 means ‘first filial generation’, there is also a second filial generation or F2. F2 seeds are the result of crossing two F1 varieties.
If you want to grow good quality, heavy producing crops then buy an F1 variety.
Seed Sowing Outdoors
Some plants need to be sown outdoors as they will not transplant too well, Carrots are a good example of this. Check the seed packet for instructions, and look for the temperature indicator. For example 15-20°C
Before you sow to make sure the soil has had stones, and lumps of soil removed and have been raked into a fine tilth. Prepare a shallow trench using pegs and string to create a straight line, and use the corner of a how-to excavate a trench to the required depth to receive the seeds. Sprinkle the seeds in at the correct distance and lightly cover them with soil. If you have to walk on the soil to plant the seeds place a plank or board on the ground and step on this and it will prevent the soil from being compacted.
As the seedlings grow they will inevitably become too crowded, as you will have planted more than enough seeds to cover the losses due to pests and diseases. As they grow select weaker-looking specimens for removal so as to leave the remaining plants at the correct distance to reach maturity. You can thin the plants almost every couple of days during the growing season rather than doing it all at once. Once removed the thinned plants should be disposed of so as not to attract pests. In the case of Lettuce and Onions, you can replant the thinning’s into a new location.
In more northerly regions you may wish to plant seeds into Seed Trays or modules and then grow them indoors until the ground warms to the correct planting temperature.
When planting seeds into a module place 2-3 seeds in each module to make sure one grows. Thin the weakest out until you have one strong plant left.
Before you plant indoor grown plants outside it is necessary to acclimatize them to the lower temperatures of the outdoors. Place them into a cold frame for a week or two before planting out.
Top 05 Steps To Seed Sowing and Success Vegetables to Plant in Spring
STEP 1: Know your Average Last Frost Date
This date, which is specific to your location, is the average date of the last spring frost as observed over several years. Call your county extension service (it’s in the blue pages of your phone book) for the date.
STEP 2: Determine your Soil’s Temperature
A soil thermometer is the most accurate way to take your soil’s temperature. Simply stick the probe into the soil and wait to see consistent readings for a few days. Plant when the soil reaches your crop’s ideal temperature. A soil thermometer with an 8-inch probe costs about $9.
STEP 3: Test Soil Moisture
Dig down 4 to 6 inches, grab a handful of soil, and squeeze it into a ball. Then try to crumble it between your fingers. If it won’t crumble and feels a bit like brownie batter, it’s too wet. Wait a few days and try again. If it crumbles easily, it’s ready for planting. If the soil slides through your fingers, it’s too dry. Soak the soil and let it drain. Plant once it passes the squeeze test.
STEP 4: Know your crops
Figure out what soil temperatures your favorite vegetables prefer and what weather they can tolerate. Nancy Bubel’s guide, The New Seed-Starters Handbook, lists the ideal temperature ranges of most vegetables. Use your last-frost date to establish planting dates. Just be sure that the soil is warm and dry enough before planting.
STEP 5: Add Organic Matter
Regularly incorporating organic matter (compost, cover crops, etc.) into soil improves its tilth—physical condition and workability. A soil with good tilth drains well and is easy to cultivate, conducive to seed germination and root growth, and resistant to crusting.
There! Your perfectly coiffed spring garden!