How to Seed a Garden

Growing your own flowers and vegetables is fun, interesting and cost effective — and it might just turn into a shared family passion.

Gardens 101

Come harvest time, everyone will enjoy the benefits of eating healthy, delicious home-grown produce, such as lettuce, radishes, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and peas. Your home-grown flowers will also add beauty to your yard and provide a regular supply of fresh flowers to decorate your home. In just a few easy steps you can learn how to seed a garden.

Task Overview

Estimated time: 4-5 hours
Estimated cost: under $50
Skill level: Beginner
Number of people required: 1

Tools & Materials:

Steps to Seeding a Garden

  1. Planning your garden
    Before going shopping for seeds, you should measure the size of your garden so that you can calculate how much seed you'll need. For each seed type you purchase, be sure to read the information on the package for guidance related to factors such as spacing and sunlight. You'll want to place similar and compatible plants together, and avoid grouping plants requiring sun near those that will give off shade.
  2. Preparing the soil
    Whether you're planning to grow vegetables for the dinner table or showy annuals to beautify your yard, you first have to prepare the soil. Start by using a trowel, shovel or hoe to remove the weeds and loosen the soil. Next, apply a fertilizer, being sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Finally, smooth the soil with a rake and, a few days prior to planting, water the bed thoroughly. When you’re ready to start, the soil should be moist but not muddy.
  3. Draw your diagram
    You'll get the most out of your gardening experience if you create a coordinated design before you begin planting. First, measure the garden space with a tape measure. Then draw a diagram of it on the graph paper using a scale of one square to one inch for smaller gardens and one square to one foot for larger gardens. Using symbols, you can then indicate which plants will go where. Also, when diagraming a flower garden, you can use coloured pencils to experiment with different colour schemes.
  4. Row Planting
    Following your diagram, use wooden stakes and string to indicate the plant rows. Then plant your seeds in the rows, following the exact planting instructions on each seed packet. Once you're finished, water the entire garden thoroughly.
  5. Broadcast Planting
    If you're planting cover crops or lawn seed, you'll need to achieve dense plant spacing. The broadcast seeding method, which involves scattering the seed by hand or with a seed spreader, is preferred for this type of planting. Simply follow the instructions on the seed packet. If necessary, add inert filler such as sand or kitty litter to help the seeds distribute evenly.
  6. Sow the seeds
    Spread the seeds or seed mixture as uniformly as possible over the entire planting area. Once finished, rake the area gently to cover the seeds with soil, making sure they’re not buried too far down.
  7. Water the area
    To help maintain moisture in the planted area, spread a thin layer of mulch on top. The mulch later will also help protect the seeds from hungry birds. Using a hose, water the area with a fine spray and keep the soil lightly damp until the seeds begin to sprout.

Garden Seeding Tips:

• When shopping, check the package to ensure the seeds are dated for the current planting year
• Store extra seeds in an airtight jar or container in a cool, dry place
• If stored properly, seeds can keep for a year or longer
• Soak large seeds overnight in water to help start the germination process
• Always sow seeds in weed-free soil
• Before planting, prepare the soil by weeding, digging and raking
• Gardens planted in rows are easier to maintain and harvest, and less susceptible to disease cross contamination
• To keep track of what you’ve planted, tape the seed packets to the wooden stakes or buy decorative place markers.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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