Seed Sowing Made Simple

The last Saturday in January is designated as National Seed Swap Day. You can celebrate with these ideas for making seed sowing simpler this season.

Many beginning gardeners fret about starting their garden from seed. I know, because I worried about every seed I planted when I first started gardening, too.

But the basics of planting seed are simple. Gardeners plant seeds in the ground, cover seeds with soil and keep soil moist until seeds germinate.

Seeds want to sprout and grow–and many do without our help.

But for as long as people have been planting seeds, they’ve been trying to make seed sowing easier.

Native Americans rolled their seeds in clay balls to protect them from sun, wind, birds, and other animals. The seed balls weren’t planted, but broadcast on top of the ground so when it rained, the clay would melt and start germination.

Seed balls are still used today in natural farming around the world and I’ve seen garden supply catalogs advertise similar products for planting wildflowers and hummingbird gardens.

Vegetable gardening from seed is also getting easier thanks to new gardening products from companies like Ball Horticultural. The company is offering Simply Salad multi-species, multi-pellet salad mixes.

Simply Salad lets gardeners grow a mixed salad without having to buy multiple seed packets. Look for three ready-mixed combinations including the Alfresco Mixture of red and green leaf lettuces with arugula, endive and radicchio.

Gardeners can also look for Ferry-Morse Seed Company’s “easy-grow”seed strips and disks at garden centers. Seed tape, seed disks and seed carpet come pre-seeded and eliminate much of the work of sowing seeds. Just cut the tape to fit the area, place it on the ground, cover with soil, and water.

Ambitious gardeners can try their hand at making their own seed tape at home. All you need are seeds, strips of thin tissue or paper and some water-soluble glue.

There are many other gardening products that will also speed the seed sowing process. Seed spacers and hand-held seed dispensers help distribute small seeds, like carrot seed, more evenly which reduces the need for thinning.


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