How to Sow Vegetable Seeds

Learn the different methods for sowing vegetable seeds to attain even and rapid germination.

By David Squire
May 2017


Propagation (Fox Chapel, 2016), by David Squire, is the essential guide to raising new plants for the home and garden for both novice and experienced gardeners. Squire contributes his lifetime experience with cultivated and native plants with an interest in historical medicinal roles, folklore, and customs of plants. This excerpt is from “Seeds”section.

Many vegetable seeds are best sown in V-shaped furrows about 1⁄2 in (12 mm) deep for most seeds, although larger ones, such as those of French beans, need furrows that are about 2 in (5 cm) deep (see below for desired depths for specific vegetables). Seedlings in a V-shaped furrow, which produces a narrow row, will usually require thinning (see below). A few vegetables, such as garden peas, can be sown in flat-bottomed trenches; this enables a broad row to be created.

Success with Vegetable Seeds

There are five main clues to success with vegetable seeds:

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