The depth of planting depends upon the size of the seed and the season of the year. The usual rule is to plant a seed at a depth that is three to four times the size of its diameter.
Seeds need air as well as water during germination so don't plant them too deep. Fine seed can simply be sprinkled onto the top of the soil and firmed down with a board. When you're planting in containers thin the plants when the first pair of true leaves has formed. These plants can be discarded or replanted into small pots until they're big enough to go into the garden.
A good soil mixture for growing seeds and replanting is a mixture of sand and loam with a little compost. About two weeks before planting into the garden, harden off the seedlings by putting them in the midday sun each day for a few hours. Plant them out when they're about 16 cm high.
If you're planting seeds directly into their permanent positions thin out any excess plants when they're 16 cm high and transplant them to other areas in the garden. This applies mainly to corn, tomatoes, silver beet, celery and lettuce because these vegetables transplant well.
Plant Propagation and Seed Saving 37
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