depth of seed planting

Jim McKenney
Tue, 12 Jul 2005 18:27:35 PDT
Evidently there is a wide range of opinion within the group on this topic -
well, on consideration, maybe I should say all of these topics. 

Surface sowing has been mentioned; no one has suggested how deep is too

I now routinely sow bulb seeds about an inch deep. With seeds which
germinate in hypogeal fashion, this definitely seems to be the way to go.

Even with seeds which germinate in epigeal fashion, one inch causes no
problems which I can detect as long as the medium is not hard and compact. 

Surface sowing on the other hand sometimes results in roots which seem
unable to get a grip on the soil: they push the seed coat along as the root
lengthens, but take a long time to enter the soil. 

Since our concept of bulb covers a lot of ground, I guess I should say that
I certainly don't recommend sowing seed of bulbs such as gesneriads one inch
deep. But seeds of lilies, crocus, tulips, frits, irises, tigridias,
hyacinths and so on seem to do just fine when sown one inch deep. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where seed of petunias,
begonias, gloxinias, poppies and tobacco sown one inch deep don't have a

More information about the pbs mailing list