Video: Direct-Seeding Your Garden | Tips & Recommendations with Niki Jabbour

Four-season Nova Scotian gardener Niki Jabbour covers direct-seeding basics for gardeners in this quickie tutorial from Johnny's.

What is direct seeding?

Direct seeding is simply planting seeds directly into the garden. Certain crops — for example, slower-growing vegetables like tomatoes — are best started indoors and eventually transplanted into the garden, whereas others grow best when directly sown into the ground. Fast-growing crops like bush beans, peas, and leaf lettuces, as well as root vegetables like carrots and radishes, are usually direct-seeded.

What are the key advantages of direct seeding?

  1. First, it's quick and easy, and you don't need any seed-starting equipment.
  2. Second, it avoids disturbing the plant's root system, which can occur with transplanting.

What are the basic steps of direct-seeding?

  1. When you're ready to direct seed, start by prepping the bed. Make sure the soil is loose and level, and add soil amendments, such as compost, at this time.
  2. Before you sow, be sure to read the instructions given on the back of the seed packet, to learn how deep and far apart to space the seed. For example, these 'Seychelles' pole beans are planted 1" deep and spaced 2" apart.
    Planting Depth Rule of Thumb: Generally, small-seeded crops are planted ⅛–¼" deep, and large-seeded crops ½–1" deep. (Crops will differ, however — some need light to germinate, for example — so don't forget to check the packet back!)
  3. Once planted, water in the seeds to ensure even moisture and good soil-to-seed contact. Continue to water so the soil is lightly moist until the seeds germinate and are growing well.

Happy growing!

Learn more about growing vegetables with Niki: 8 Great Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners • Video Series…

For more in-depth information on this topic, refer to our Direct-Seeding Guidelines (printable PDF also available).