How to - Seeds

Three seed-sowing techniques

From pre-sprouting to scarifying, learn how to plant different types of seeds.


Sowing tiny, hard-to-handle seeds
Some seeds are so small they resemble dust, making them difficult to handle and sow evenly. Some solutions are:

* Mix the seeds with very fine white horticultural sand, put the mix in a salt shaker and sprinkle over the soil. Sprinkle first in one direction and then again at right angles for the most even coverage. The sand will indicate where you’ve sown.

* Put the seed-sand mix in a piece of folded paper, hold the paper at a slight angle and tap it gently so the mix drops off the edge of the fold.

* Mix the seeds with water and put it in a spray bottle. Spritz the seed-water mix over the soil, shaking the container regularly to keep the seeds suspended.

* Purchase a hand seeder. There are different kinds, including squeeze-bulb types that vacuum up the seeds with one squeeze and drop them with another, or hypodermic kinds that “inject” the seeds onto the soil, or battery-driven spatula varieties that vibrate the seeds off the end. 

* For small but less-than-dust-like seeds, very patient gardeners can wet the end of a toothpick, pick up a seed or two and drop them into a Jiffy pellet. Repeat endlessly.

* Buy pelleted seed. This is seed that has been given a coloured coating, making it larger and more visible.

Tiny seeds:

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