All vegetables can be grown from seed, purchasing seed from a reputable Seedsman is of course important and there are a few well know companies who are very reliable for the quality of the seeds they offer for sale. Some of the larger companies have excellent web sites and all have catalogues that help to make the choice easier for the gardener.
Vegetables are also grown from tubers or bulbs; these include potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, onion, and shallots sets, and garlic. Globe artichokes and asparagus can be grown from seed, but needs three years before it can be cropped; therefore young plants or roots are usually purchased to get a good head start. These can be purchased also from seedsmen as young plants but will naturally be more expensive than seeds.
When preparing the soil for sowing, the depth of the furrow or drill will depend on the size of seeds- the smaller the seed the shallower the drill, and the heavier the soil the shallower the drill. In average soils, drills ½in. (12mm) in. deep suits the seeds of parsley, lettuce and carrots; 1-in. (25mm) deep drills suit beetroot, spinach and turnips; peas and beans require 3in. (76mm) drills. Most seed packets however do give precise instructions as to the best sowing methods for those particular seeds.
Sprinkle the seeds thinly and evenly along the drill; extra care should be taken when sowing tiny seeds to try and avoid putting the seeds too thickly. However, it is unrealistic to expect all the seeds to germinate and sowing a few extra will allow for this, the seedlings can be thinned out later to allow each plant to develop properly.
As soon as the seeds are sown fill in the drill with soil the back of a rake making sure that the surface is level. Mark out where each row has been planted by inserting some form of marker, preferably one that can be written on with the type and variety of each vegetable; a flat piece of wood or plastic stick is ideal, making sure that the ink is water-proof of course or the seed packet can be tapped to the stick.
VEGETABLE SEED INFORMATION
Average number of seeds per ounce
Average days to germinate
Average days to mature from seed
Terry Blackburn. Internet Marketing Consultant, living in South Shields in the North-East of England. Author and Producer of blog http://www.lawnsurgeon.blogspot.com Author of "Your Perfect Lawn," a 90 Page eBook devoted to Lawn Preparation, Lawn Care and Maintenance. Find it at http://www.lawnsurgeon.com
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