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Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? Toplef10Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? 1zd3ho10

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Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? I22gcj10Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? 14dhcg10

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Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? Toplef10Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? 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.

Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? I22gcj10Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? 14dhcg10

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Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it?

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Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? Empty Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it?

Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 11/2/2023, 5:35 pm

Howdy folks!  happy hi 

So, as I head into my second summer with a vege garden, I'm sowing seeds for it in trays and looking ahead to the season as a whole.  Thinking back to my first summer one of the things that most stands out for me is the very disappointing results from direct sowed seeds.

My question to you all, is: just considering mid-summer sowings, how do you sow seeds?  Do you always start in trays and transplant (except for the ones which don't like to be moved)?  Or do you direct seed in the garden?  Or a mixture?  And, most importantly, why?

Last year, following the advice in both SFG books, I sowed directly into the garden except for the first lot of plants (at the time I started those, I didn't have a garden to put them in).

I've been raising from seed for more than 10 years (lettuces, to grow on my patio) so this is something I'm pretty good at.  Each time I sowed into the garden bed last summer I put seed raising mix into a little hole, tamped it down, watered it well, put the seed on top, and covered it lightly with more seed raising mix to the recommended depth.  Small sheet of cardboard over the square to prevent drying out, and checking every day.

However, my germination rates were terribly disappointing.  From memory way less than half of the direct sowed seeds actually germinated at all -- and the plants were nearly all very sickly, and in the cases of beets and chard, didn't do anything much at all.  I had one pea plant produce a single pod, from 16 seeds. Mad

No doubt my results are partly due to the bought compost which I had to use for my MM (this summer I'll have plenty of my own) and to the terrible growing season we had last summer, with even commercial growers having a real challenge.  But the compost isn't going to affect the germination rate.

With direct sowing, I appreciated not having to look after seed trays all through summer -- I don't have a shed, or greenhouse etc, so it is a bit of a pain having to move them outside/inside every day.  But I also want better results than I had last year!  Should I really be starting in trays all through summer?
thanks
KiwiSFGnewbie
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Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it? Empty Re: Mid-summer seed sowing, how do you do it?

Post  OhioGardener 11/2/2023, 6:30 pm

KiwiSFGnewbie wrote:My question to you all, is: just considering mid-summer sowings, how do you sow seeds?  Do you always start in trays and transplant (except for the ones which don't like to be moved)?  Or do you direct seed in the garden?  Or a mixture?  And, most importantly, why?

For me, it all depends on the type of seed/plant, the weather, and the time of the year. A mixture, I guess.

Some seedlings do not like to be transplanted, especially root crops, so I direct sow all of them. Examples are radishes, carrots, beets, beans, and peas.

Some seedlings do better if grown in a controlled environment until they are big enough to transplant into the beds. Those I start in trays on heat mats, with a humidity dome, under lights. Examples are things like the brassicas, Swiss Chard, cucumbers, squash, and melons.

Yet, for other seeds I do either, or both ways. For example, in early spring I will start lettuces, spinach, onions, and leeks, in cells for transplanting outside in the beds after the weather stabilizes. Then later, like early summer, I will start more seeds for succession planting by direct sowing in the bed.

Experiment, keep a log, and do what works best for you. One problem I have in early spring is sow bugs and slugs eating young seedlings as soon as they sprout. During those times I ensure that I put the Sluggo Plus down before the seeds sprout.

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 11/2/2023, 8:04 pm

Wow, thank you as always for your comprehensive reply OG!  I'm seeing some more reasons why I had such disappointing results last summer.  (I forgot to mention that I spread Quash (our Sluggo) whenever I direct sow)  Guess I'm gonna have to look into improving my seed raising infrastructure!!
thanks
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