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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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very newbie question Toplef10very newbie question 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

very newbie question I22gcj10very newbie question 14dhcg10

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Post  staciz 4/12/2010, 8:42 pm

I'm finally read to plant a few squares, but despite combing over the planting sections AGAIN (in the book), I don't know how to deep to go.

I have 2 red pepper seedlings, 1 yellow pepper seedling and 6 different hot pepper seedlings. I also have 2 cilantro seedlings (though since buying them, I've read it's better to plant seeds than to transplant)

So...how deep do I go? Do I use a trowel (again, have NEVER gardened a thing in my life) and dig out a space? Just make the top of the seedling soil even with the soil in my bed?

Any, any advice would be great. No detail is too simple very newbie question Icon_biggrin
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Post  staciz 4/12/2010, 8:47 pm

oh, i also have onion and lettuce seeds.

the lettuce package says "sow seeds 1/4" deep 1 inch apart"..."thin to final spacing of 5" apart".

so, i'm planning on doing 4 in the square..but how many seeds in each of those 4 quadrants? just one?

for onion it says "sprinkle 3-4 seeds per inch evenly in the row. thin young 3" tall seedlings"

so, i'm doing 16 in a square, but again....just ONE seed in each of the 16 quadrants??
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Post  robbinscabin 4/12/2010, 9:02 pm

When it comes to depth I follow a simple rule of thumb: Double the width of the seed to find the magic depth. For tiny seeds. I pinch some, drop them and lightly sift "soil" overtop. Never patting the soil down.

I'm still fairly new at the veggie gardening thing so I'll let the wise SFG'ers answer the specific plant questions but I'll offer this advice...
There's another old rule of thumb:
Plant 1 for the birds, 1 for the weeds, and 1 for the seed.


very newbie question Icon_eek DON'T DO THAT! That might work for the row gardeners but it leads to very overcrowed SFG boxes. It's just not necessary.

Good luck.
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Post  bullfrogbabe 4/12/2010, 9:27 pm

I follow the depth recommended on the seed pack but only plant 1 seed in each hole. I make the planting holes either using my finger or a pencil -- just poke my finger into the soil to the depth and at the spacing required, drop a seed into each hole, and gently smooth the soil over the seeds (don't pat down).

Some seeds are just to small to control how many, so do your best to pinch in 1 but don't worry about getting a couple more. For beets, multiple seeds are joined together, just plant a seed nugget into each hole. If extras grow, just snip of the weaker looking sprouts with scissors.


Last edited by bullfrogbabe on 4/12/2010, 9:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  boffer 4/12/2010, 9:43 pm

When it comes to transplanting seedlings, a good rule of thumb is that they should be re-planted at the same depth they were at. A notable exception are tomatoes, which will benefit from being planted deeper. It will take a little experience for you decide whether digging a hole in Mel's mix is easier, for you, with a trowel or your hand. It mostly depends on how compacted and wet it is. Do whatever feels good.

There's no way my fingers are going to get one tiny carrot seed in a hole, and I refuse to buy/make all those gizmos that are made for planting tiny seeds. Use your fingertip or sharpie end to make a depression to put seeds in. Thin with scissors when each plant is identifiable. Robbin's idea for depth is simple and easy, and will rarely cause problems.

Most times, I will water my soil first and then plant seeds. It keeps the small, shallowly planted seeds from floating away, and all ending up in a corner!
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Post  staciz 4/13/2010, 12:04 am

thanks so much everyone!! sadly, i was very impatient and didn't wait for all the answers to come in before I planted. I read somewhere (and I'm sure it's totally hokey nonsense) that it's good to plant 2 days before a New Moon and since there is a New Moon scheduled on Wednesday night, I wanted to get them in today! I'm so new at this, it can't hurt to have the moon phase on my side very newbie question Icon_lol

I think I planted my onion and lettuce seeds to deep, from the sounds of your descriptions, but did OK on my transplants. I'm so excited to see things coming up!!! (At least I decided to do 3 phases of lettuce though, so I'll fix my mistake on the next round.)
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Post  boffer 4/13/2010, 12:10 am

LOL I understand your impatience!

Lettuce is an unusual seed in that it needs light to sprout, and needs to be nearly on top of the soil. I think it's great you're already thinking about succession planning. If it were me, I'd go ahead and replant the lettuce seeds again to have better odds of germination. You can always thin if you get too many.

Happy Gardening
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Post  jenjehle 4/13/2010, 12:30 am

Staciz,

Not sure if this is what others do, but I sow 2 seeds in each hole. Then if they both come up, keep the healthiest one and snip off the weaker one (don't pull it out as you might disturb the root structure of the keeper, just snip it off at the base). Or if they're both doing well, you can try to remove one and replant it somewhere else. This is just what I do. But I rarely sow only one seed in a hole.

I go by the package on how deep the seeds should go. And as with seedlings, I tend to put them in a little deeper than necessary. I like them to be firm in place. So for me, I even bury part of them stem, maybe 1/4-1/3 of the way up. But again, this is just preference.

I'm sure you'll do great. For me, I just titled my first year as getting experience with the whole thing. And any veggies gained was a bonus.

Keep on asking those questions! And go back and read through previous posts. I've learned a ton by doing that!


Last edited by jenjehle on 4/13/2010, 12:37 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding something)
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