Spring into seed sowing

bean seeds

A mix of bean seeds

Growing from seeds is a cheap and effective way to establish a herb or veggie garden. And the EASIEST way to grow edibles from seed is if you sow them directly into your garden. This means you sow them right where you want them to establish, so no need for fiddly seed raising trays or re-potting.

Spring is the perfect time to sow seeds in your garden, because the warmer soil temperatures are ideal for germination and the soil moisture content is just right!

TOP TIPS for sowing seeds directly

1. Read the packet and check how far apart to sow the seeds. You may need to “thin out” the seedlings as they grow. Thinning out means pinching out the smallest seedlings from the row to allow the heathier larger ones to establish. This is particularly important when growing carrots and beetroots from seed.

 

2. Larger seeds like beans and peas are easy to sow because they are big enough to hand sow one by one. BUT smaller seeds can be tricky to sow evenly! HINT – mix tiny seeds like lettuce and rocket with some seed raising mix or sand in a jar and then sprinkle over the soil surface. You’ll get a much more even spread!

A mix of lettuce, rocket & endive seeds

3. As a general rule, sow seeds TWICE as deep as they are wide. Tiny lettuce seeds only need to be sprinkled on the surface of your soil and very lightly covered with a dusting of more soil. While larger seeds like bean, peas and corn seeds can be popped into a hole made with your index finger.

 

4. Remember to keep the ground moist around your seeds as they germinate. This will probably mean a light watering each day until they germinate.

 

5. Watch out for snails and slugs – they LOVE munching on newly emerged seedlings. Use a pet-friendly snail & slug bait or beer traps.

My FAVOURITE herbs & veggies to grow from seed, sowed directly into the garden……
  • rocket
  • lettuce
  • coriander
  • beans
  • peas
  • beetroot
  • carrots
  • bok choy and other asian greens
  • sweet corn
Of course you can sow MANY seeds directly in your veggie patch – just check the back of the packet to see if it says you can sow directly.

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About the author

In 2003 I completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at The University of Melbourne. And I am experienced at gardening in all conditions, having lived – and gardened – on a small farm, in tiny apartments, in crowded share houses and on your average suburban house block. I now work full time in the horticulture industry and I’m a presenter on The Garden Gurus, channel 9. I would like to show, particularly the younger generations, that sustainable gardening, and growing at least some of the food you eat – is possible no matter where you live!

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