How to Grow Vegetable Seeds Outdoors

Learn how certain vegetable seeds, like beets and carrots, can be sown directly into the ground in spring. 

Community Gardens Encourage Healthy Family Foods

Community Gardens Encourage Healthy Family Foods

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Growing vegetables in a backyard garden or as part of a community garden leads to delicious homegrown food encouraging a healthier lifestyle for a family.

From: DK Books - Gardeners Guide
Similar Topics:

Materials Needed

  • vegetable seeds of choice
  • garden fork
  • cloches or plastic sheeting
  • rake
  • string
  • draw hoe
  • watering can or garden hose
  • plant labels

Step 1: Prepare the Seed Bed

Add Organic Matter

Add Organic Matter

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Turn over the bed the previous season, removing any weeds, and incorporate well-rotted manure or garden compost.

Step 2: Use String to Mark Lines

Make Drills in Fine Soil with Edge of Garden Hoe

Make Drills in Fine Soil with Edge of Garden Hoe

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Warm the soil if necessary using cloches or plastic sheeting. Rake the soil to a fine tilth, and use string to mark lines. Make a drill by pulling the edge of a draw hoe along the length of the string.

Step 3:  Sow Seeds Along the Drill

Sow Seeds Along Drill Spacing Per Directions

Sow Seeds Along Drill Spacing Per Directions

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sow seeds one at a time and space them according to the instructions on the packet. For most crops this will be their final position, but sow generously since they can be thinned later.

Step 4: Cover the Seeds With Soil

Rake Soil Surface and Gently Cover Seeds

Rake Soil Surface and Gently Cover Seeds

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

After gently covering the seeds, very lightly rake over the surface. Water the soil carefully to avoid disturbing the seeds. Mark the position of the row with a label.

Step 5: Consider Plug Plants

Plug Plants Save Time and Space for Gardener

Plug Plants Save Time and Space for Gardener

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

If you don’t have the time or space to grow plants from seed, or you only want a few, buying plug plants is the solution, although it is more expensive than raising plants from seed. Plugs are available by mail order or from garden centers, but the choice of varieties can be limited. In mid-spring, select plugs with undamaged leaves and healthy root systems. If you buy via mail order, they will be sent to you at the optimal planting time. Water well, and repot or plant out immediately.

Next Up

How to Grow Vegetable Seeds Indoors

Follow this step-by-step guide for growing tips. 

Save Money on Your Veggies: Grow From Seed

Build up your veggie-growing skills: Besides the flavor, you'll love the economics.

Veggies You Can Start From Seed and Veggies You Can’t

Nearly any plant can be started from a seed, but in vegetable gardening starting from seeds may not be the best plan.

Grow Crunchy Sprouts Indoors

Delicious and packed with nutrients, sprouting beans add crunchy texture to salads, and you can choose from many different varieties. From spicy onion to mild broccoli, you will find a taste to suit, or try a few and mix them together.

How to Sow and Plant Fruiting Vegetables

Large leaves, golden flowers and heavy yields make squashes, zucchini and cucumbers ideal plants for productive pots.

How to Plant an Indoor Salad Garden

Follow these simple tips to have fresh produce throughout the entire year.

How to Sow and Plant Mediterranean-Style Vegetables

The jewel-like fruits of these decorative plants make beautiful displays in pots in a greenhouse, on a windowsill or in a sunny spot outside.

Grow Guide: How to Grow Brussels Sprouts and Get Your Squash Plants to Produce

Tips for growing these love 'em or hate 'em brassicas and how to pollinate your squash.

How to Grow Onion Sets

Make planting and maintaining onion sets a cinch with this step-by-step guide.

How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin

Tips from giant-pumpkin experts Christy Harp and Jamie Johnson on growing a major gourd.