I believe that seeds suffer from a case of mistaken identity. They are often described as being difficult or labor intensive. While it might take the right equipment and know how to sow seeds indoors, there are some plants that will spring right from the ground where the seeds are sown. These are “direct sown” seeds or seeds that you can sow in the garden rather than starting in pots or flats.
Some seeds are better suited to direct sowing than others. For example, tomato seeds can be finicky, so it’s a good idea to start them in pots first. Also, if you live in a region where summers are short, starting seeds indoors will give plants the additional weeks they need to mature for flowers or fruits. To check a seed’s disposition toward direct sowing read the back of the package. Look for clues such as “sow directly in the garden,” “volunteer,” “reseeds,” and “does not transplant well.”
Because you are planting outdoors you won’t have as much control over the environment so Mother Nature can throw you some curveballs. Excessively wet or dry weather, insect pests, and birds can reduce your success.
Before you get started read the directions on the seed package. It’s important to how and when to sow individual varieties. You also need an understanding of the mature plant’s requirements – light, water, soil – to know where to sow the seeds.
Sow seeds in soil that drains well and is mixed with amendments such as compost so that it is light. Follow the package instructions. I like to tamp down on the soil after the seeds are planted to make good soil to seed contact. Gently shower the area with water. Use a hose with a spray attachment or a watering can with a rose so you don’t wash away the seeds.
The most important part of seed sowing, whether indoors or out, is keeping the soil consistently moist. Not too wet or dry. Soggy soil invites diseases and dry soil will stop germination.
Once your seeds are sown, you can start the best part – going out every day to check on their progress.
Seeds for Direct Sowing
- Bachelor Button
- Moon Flowers
- Morning Glories
- Hyacinth Bean Vine