How to Grow Vegetable Seeds Outdoors
Learn how certain vegetable seeds, like beets and carrots, can be sown directly into the ground in spring.
- vegetable seeds of choice
- garden fork
- cloches or plastic sheeting
- draw hoe
- watering can or garden hose
- plant labels
Step 1: Prepare the Seed Bed
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
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 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
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
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.