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Know About Seeds Before Planting

27 Apr 2022 1:00 AM | Brenda Peshak

Know Your Seeds | Demonstration Garden

Seed Spacing and Preferences.

It’s helpful to know your seeds before planting. You may think that “seeds are seeds” and if you water them they should grow. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. All seeds are different. Most seed packets detail seed preferences. When specifics are not available, as a general guide plant seeds a depth of two to four times the greater diameter of the seed. Some seeds desire cooler temps while others prefer the soil to be warmer.  Some seeds require scarification (when you knick the surface) and others do well to be soaked in advance.  Do your research first and the time will be worth your while for an optimal germination success rate.

Seed Storage and Viability.

You don’t need to use all your seeds at once. In fact, it’s likely you will only need to plant a fraction of your seed packet for the space you have available. Be sure to consider the spacing your plant will require at full size when sowing directly into the garden. You can store leftover seeds in cool and dry conditions and many will last 3-5 years when stored properly.

Gemination and Interplanting.

Different seeds have different germination times. Radishes, for example, are quick to sprout taking as few as 6 days to germinate while carrots can take up to 20. This offers the opportunity for interplanting, or companion planting. You can plant complimentary plants together to optimize time and space harvesting the radishes in time for the carrots to come to maturity. This practice can also minimize soil crusting that can cause poor emergence of carrots.

When to Plant Your Seeds.

We all tend to plant seeds in the spring and that’s often the one time of year it’s considered. However, a small change in mind set can help you  see that you should be planting the right seeds and the right time. For example, planting fall crops in the summer. In addition, some seeds are best broadcast in the fall such as larkspur, for example, and some other perennials. These fall loving  perennials may be attempted in the spring, but you will simply have more success with some in the fall.  Turf grass seeds also prefer fall sowing.

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