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

How to Direct Seed

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

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.

There are benefits to direct seeding; first, it's quick and easy and you don't need any seed-starting equipment. It also avoids disturbing the plant's root system, which can occur with transplanting.

When you're ready to direct seed, start by prepping the bed. Make sure the soil is loose and level, and add soil amendments like compost at this time. 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. These 'Seychelles' pole beans are spaced 2" apart and 1" deep. Generally, small-seeded crops are planted ⅛–¼" deep, and large-seeded crops ½–1" deep.

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 detailed information on this topic, refer to our Direct-Seeding Guidelines (including a downloadable, printable PDF version). Or, scroll the menu at left to select from all our references and further reading on direct seeding.