How to Plant Vegetable Seeds Outdoors
A vegetable garden is an inexpensive and fun way to enjoy your favorite vegetables picked fresh and ripe. Learning how to plant vegetable seeds outdoors to ensure the most flavorful vegetables begins with knowing proper seed planting techniques. Understanding basic planting methods and needs of the seeds you wish to grow can result in a healthy garden that lasts throughout the season.
Choose the types of vegetables you would like to grow and purchase the vegetable seeds to plant.
- This will allow you to become familiar with how to plant vegetable seeds outdoors and enjoy the varieties you select once harvest time arrives.
Learn about the types of vegetable seeds you are going to plant.
- Each seed variety requires specific conditions needed for germination, including proper temperature, moisture levels and sunlight.
- Too much or too little of any of these necessary elements will result in the delicate seed or seedling failing to grow.
Know your planting zone to ensure that you are putting your vegetable seeds into the ground at the right time of the season.
- Separated by temperature variation, areas are divided into International or United States Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones.
- Each zone helps gardeners understand their particular climate, and teaches gardeners how to plant vegetable seeds outdoors during the proper time of year for the best results. Zones determine lowest and highest temperatures, and the expected annual rainfall, which are vital to seed germination.
Begin planting vegetable seeds by marking the soil in rows.
- The depth each seed needs to be placed in the ground generally depends on its size, with larger seeds needing to be placed deeper in the soil.
- The proximity of each seed also usually depends on size, with larger seeds requiring more space between each one.
Water the vegetable seeds if the ground is dry.Now is also a good time to add a small amount of fertilizer mixed with the water to give the seeds extra nourishment.
Cover the vegetable seeds with soil.How much depends on the type of seed; a light covering will do for small seeds and more soil for larger seeds.
- Do note that most seeds do not need to be buried very deeply to grow; it only needs to be enough that the seeds are protected from the weather. Several small seeds, such as chia or carrot seeds, barely need to be covered at all.
Gently firm the ground over the vegetable seeds.Use your hand or planting tool, and then water the bed of seeds with a light spray.
- Most seeds fall into three categories, spring, summer and fall vegetables. Most vegetable seed packets have seed planting techniques on the back of the packages to guide vegetable gardeners.
- As your seedlings begin to sprout in about 10 days to 4 weeks, you can thin overgrowth to allow space for the new plants.
- A large variety of vegetable seeds can be found at hardware, retail and home improvement stores months before planting season begins.
- Once the seedlings are sprouting, if there are sparse areas, you can add more vegetable seeds to fill in the row.
- Keep the ground moist during the time germination is taking place, generally two to four weeks depending on the seed type. If weather conditions are very hot and dry, water the vegetable seeds twice a day until you see them start to sprout.
- Be careful not to over-water, as this will cause the seeds to rot. As a rule of thumb, keep the ground moist, but not soggy. Excessive water during the seedling phase also increases the chance of the seedlings developing a condition called damping off, when they begin to die due to fungal and bacterial infections that flourish in moist environments. Summed up, only water when you need to.
Video: How to sow a seed directly into garden
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