How to Plant Seeds in Your Garden: Beginner’s Guide

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One of the most economical and easy ways to start a flower or vegetable garden is to plant seeds directly into your garden.

The return on the investment in a packet of seeds is better than most any stock or bond!

For instance, one cucumber seed can develop into a plant that can yield five to ten cucumbers.

So a packet of cucumber seeds, purchased for less than two dollars, can yield up to a hundred cucumbers!

Here are some quick tips on how to plant seeds in your garden.



Soil Preparation

Early May is a great time to plant seeds in northeastern Ohio and most of the Midwest U.S.

Generally, the chance of frost has passed by mid-May, so the sprouts should be safe.

One of the keys to success to make sure that the soil is loosened and not hard and compacted.

I like to use a shovel or trowel and turn the soil over and “chop it” to make it loose.

If your soil has a lot of clay and is hard to work, it would be best to add soil amendments such as peat moss, compost and composted manure to improve it.

These can be purchased in bags at your local garden center or online.

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How to Plant Seeds

One of the easiest ways to plant seeds is by making a row in your soil. A garden hoe is ideal for this, but the handle end of a shovel or a trowel will work too.

The back of the seed packet will tell you how deep to make the furrow. Most seeds are planted ¼” to 1” deep.

A good rule of thumb is that the smaller the seed, the shallower it should be planted (1/4”).

The larger the seed, the deeper it should be planted (1/2” to 1”).

Don’t worry too much about this though. Most seeds are quite adaptable.


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The seed packet will also state how far apart to place the seeds in the row.

I tend to place seeds closer together than recommended as I like my flower and vegetable beds tightly planted.

You can always remove some of the seedlings to “thin them out” later.

Once you have placed the seeds in the row, cover them with soil.

I like to gently press my hand down on the covered row to make sure that the seeds are firmly in place and making contact with the soil.

Germinating Seedling in soil

Then water using a watering can or gentle setting on a water wand or hose nozzle.

This is an important step as the moisture activates the seed and begins the germination process.

Depending on the weather, you may need to water daily to keep the soil moist.

Most seeds germinate within 7-10 days, but some make take 14 days.

I find this process fascinating. It is amazing how everything a seed needs is inside it.

It just needs to be in the right environment to sprout and flourish into the beautiful vibrant plant God designed it to be.

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Seeds that are easy to grow:




Sweet Peas


Morning Glories


Green Beans






Other related articles:

Want to Grow Vegetables Without the Back-Breaking Work- Try Container Gardening,

Annual Flowers for Beginners- Selecting the Right Ones for Your Landscape and

How to Plant Annual Flowers for Beginners.

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