DEPTH
TO
PLANT SEEDS




Gardening Basics

How to Determine the Proper Depth to Plant Seeds

Planting at the right depth improves a seed's chances


Planting a seed at the right depth improves the seed's chances of
developing into a hardy seedling and increases germination rates.
The precise depth varies depending on the size and type of the
seeds you have.

And while seed packets always provide a recommended seed depth,
sometimes we lose the seed packet with all of its specific planting
instructions, or we get some seeds from a friend, minus those helpful
instructions.

That's when we need a way to figure out how deep to bury those seeds
in the seed-starting mix or garden soil.



General Wisdom for How Deep to Plant Seeds

Although there are plenty of opinions on this, common gardening wisdom
advises not to plant any seed deeper than twice its diameter. The
classic "quarter-inch" planting depth found on many seed packets is too
deep for many small seeds.



Information on Seed Company Websites

If you know which type of seeds you have, look for that seed variety on
major seed company websites. Many sites include information about the
best seed planting depth along with the descriptions of the seeds they
sell. Even if you don't know the specific variety of your seeds, you can
still gain some insight reading about similar plants.

For example, if your neighbor gifts you with some bush bean seeds, you
can read about bush bean seeds of several varieties on a seed company
website and make a good guess at the correct planting depth.



General Guidelines for Seed Depth

If you can't find the recommended planting depth for your specific seeds
online, here are a few tried-and-true guidelines you can follow:

In general, seeds should be planted at a depth of two times the width, or
diameter, of the seed. For example, if you have a seed that's about 1/16
inch thick, it should be planted about 1/8 inch deep. Large bean seeds,
which can be up to1/2 inch wide, may need to be planted an inch deep.

For tiny seeds, place them on the surface of the soil and barely cover them
with soil or vermiculite.

Don't compress the soil atop the seeds as you plant them. The soil should be
firm but not compacted.



Seeds to Cover With Soil

Most seeds require covering with soil, including most of the familiar vegetable
and fruit seeds, including:


Brassicas—broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower

Chard

Tomatoes

Spinach

Peas

Beans

Melons

Peppers



Seeds That Should Not Be Covered

Some seeds need light to germinate. Simply place them on the surface
of the soil and press them gently to ensure good contact with the soil.
Do not cover them with soil. Most of these are tiny seeds, and only a
few of them are popular for vegetable gardens. Some examples include:


Dill

Lettuce

Ornamental peppers

Coleus

Petunias

Sweet alyssum

Ageratum

Cleome



Problems With Planting Too Deep

Large seeds are more tolerant of being planted too deep than tiny seeds are.
Common effects of planting too deep include limited or failed germination
and weak seedlings. If you have any of these problems with your seeds,
double-check the recommended planting depth, or plant a little shallower the
next time.



How to Determine the Proper Depth to Plant Seeds
https://www.thespruce.com/how-deeply-should-seeds-be-planted-2539711



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