We have talked in our previous posts about sowing a batch of cool hardy seeds for our spring crops. A few words about sowing seeds may be appropriate here. The first thing to note is the size of the seed you are using, as they vary quite enormously. The average depth to sow seeds is a between a ¼ and ½ inch below the soil surface. Bigger seeds such as peas and beans need sowing more deeply and smaller seeds such as lettuce will be sown more shallowly. I usually create a groove in the soil, sow a line of seeds and sprinkle a line of soil over the seeds to cover them to the required depth and then firm the soil up over the seeds. The most critical thing is not to sow seeds too thickly. This is a mistake every single new gardener makes. You simply can not believe that all these seeds are going to come up. But in the vast majority of cases they actually do!
When seeds are sown too thickly together, they compete with each other for nutrients and when it is time for them to be transplanted, the roots are intertwined so they do not transplant as well. It is important to note, root crops need to be sown in their final soil bed and not transplanted at all. Make sure that the seeds are kept moist throughout the germination period because if they dry out in the early stage of development they will die. The time to transplant the seedlings is when they are approximately 2 inches tall and the second pair of leaves is reasonably developed. Happy growing!