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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
ARgardener
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Default Covering seeds at proper depth

I may sound completely ignorant here, but I always have the hardest time with trying to gauge how deep I'm planting seeds.

I usually rake some soil from either side of my raised row then smooth the soil out, but it's darn near impossible for me to tell if I've added 1/4", 1/2", etc.


Anyone have any tips on how to cover seeds with the right amount of soil?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
twillis2252
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Great how to videos from NCTomatoman, our own Craig LeHoullier on seed starting. I used his method last year and had resounding success...Highly recommend!


http://www.craiglehoullier.com/resources/
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
KarenO
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It's very different direct sowing seed in the garden than indoors.

For me , the only way to do it is slow. I do it by hand. I find I always use too much soil to cover if I use a rake or hoe.
I put a stake at each end and run a string to start the row. Then I make a shallow trench along the string so the row is straight. Then I water that trench well allowing the water to soak in.
Then I sow the seed doing my best not the sow too thick because I hate thinning. Then I cover the seed by hand to the eyeballed correct depth and firm in gently. It's slow but more seed grows if not buried too deep. Not practical for a huge or market garden.
Watering the shallow trenches first helps the seed stick and not blow away. There is no need to water again right away after sowing of the seed so you wont wash your seeds out of that nice straight row. I hate a crooked row
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
UFXEFU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
It's very different direct sowing seed in the garden than indoors.

For me , the only way to do it is slow. I do it by hand. I find I always use too much soil to cover if I use a rake or hoe.
I put a stake at each end and run a string to start the row. Then I make a shallow trench along the string so the row is straight. Then I water that trench well allowing the water to soak in.
Then I sow the seed doing my best not the sow too thick because I hate thinning. Then I cover the seed by hand to the eyeballed correct depth and firm in gently. It's slow but more seed grows if not buried too deep. Not practical for a huge or market garden.
Watering the shallow trenches first helps the seed stick and not blow away. There is no need to water again right away after sowing of the seed so you wont wash your seeds out of that nice straight row. I hate a crooked row
KarenO
You can grow more on a crooked row!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
KarenO
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Haha! Maybe so but it's easier to weed a straight one.
My Dear Dad taught me how to make a garden row and for me there's no other way but arrow straight
KarenO
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
Gardeneer
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The rule of thumb about covering the seeds is TWICE the size of seeds. Take or leave a bit.
I was going to plant some tobacco seeds. They are the tiniest seeds I have ever seen. They say DON"T cover them. Well that is logical. How the sprouts of those tiny tiny seeds can push through any cover !!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
ARgardener
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Planted kohlrabi, carrot, chard, and multicrop today. I still get the feeling as I'm sowing that I'm covering too deep!! I just have the hardest time gauging depth and volume of soil...
That concludes my early-spring planting, every other sowing will be of big seeds, so it's all done for now..
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Old 5 Days Ago   #8
slugworth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardeneer View Post
I was going to plant some tobacco seeds. They are the tiniest seeds I have ever seen. They say DON"T cover them. Well that is logical. How the sprouts of those tiny tiny seeds can push through any cover !!
Actually,they need sunlight to germinate.
The tough part is keeping them properly watered.I am going to start some myself.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #9
oakley
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I rake, water gently, then use the back of the rake with a tap-tap to firm the row/area.
Make an indentation with a thin board or dibbler....set seed about 2-3 depth of the size and water in gently, then cover with pet or light soil, tap again with the back of rake, light water then cover with a wide board for a few days. (peas and larger seeds like chard, beets)
Carrots are tiny so i cast the seeds over the wet compacted row, then cover. I use light weight ship-lap siding. Any heavy rains can wash away or pop up freshly planted seeds.
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