I’ve been asked countless times how do you know how deep to plant seeds. A simple and very effective way to figure out how deep to plant or how much dirt to cover seeds is to gauge the SIZE of the seeds.
A simple rule we follow is: “The size of the seed is how deep you cover with soil.” Quite elementary, my dear, and very simple to remember if you are without instructions on the back of your seed packet.
There are a number of different types of seeds that require different conditions to grow. Some seeds may need light to grow, some may need darkness, and. believe it or not, some may even need to be charred by fire. There are so many variations in the ideal conditions to stimulate seed germination you need to ask yourself: How does seed size impact the process of germination? Do certain size seeds need special conditions?
Very small seeds usually are planted at a very shallow depth. They will receive 10% to 20% of the light incident on the soil surface. The reason for the shallow planting is that these seeds have very few reserves for producing shoots. If they were planted any deeper, the shoots would not manage to go the full distance. Plants that germinate like this are termed “positively photoblastic.”
As an aside, the above article states that many weeds are also “positively photoblastic.” Their seeds can enter a state of dormancy after being worked into the soil or, unfortunately, when inadvertently put into the compost heap. Many farmers will insist on working the soil at night to reduce the possibility of weeds occurring as there is no light to trigger the seed germination. If the soil or compost heap is turned over once and exposed to the light, the seeds will awaken and you will now have weeds to contend with but a layer of mulch will deprive the weeds of the needed light. We have used mulching here extensively for over 25 years. In fact, that is how we started all this by smothering our back lawn (er weeds) and front lawn with a layers of newspapers and mulch. Now, we are about a 1 1/2 feet higher than our neighbor! Yeah, I know I said something of the sort in our award winning little film – check out the clip where it shows me on top of the compost pile!
With it feeling more like Spring than Winter, I’ve been busy planting hundreds of soil blocks full of peas, greens and more! And of course, watering MORE than I should for this time of year – that’s bad! Normally the hose & I takes a hiatus during winter, but not this year.
I’m really worried, with winter not shaping up, there’s no rain. It’s sooo dry, it’s scary – really scary! We are praying that we get some desperately rain and snow – and soon!
:: Resources ::
Heirloom & Organic Seeds – featuring our fave varieties that we sow
Soil Block Maker – the most used garden tool, I make thousands every year!
Making Soil Blocks – a highly efficient way to start your seedlings
Check out our GARDEN supplies too!