If you are planning a garden here in York, PA or anywhere else, check out the following guidelines for starting plants from seed. They are geared to vegetable planting (beans, beets, carrots, corn, onions, peas, radish, spinach, turnips), but the same principles apply to flowers.
- Plant in a freshly prepared seed bed -- otherwise the weeds are likely to come up before the plants. Keep the ground worked where late sowings are to be made to prevent weeds from starting.
- Plant in straight rows -- This will increase the attractiveness of your garden and make cultivation and harvesting easier.
- Plant at proper depth -- The depth of planting varies with kind of seed, type of soil and season. In general, the smaller the seed the shallower the covering; but all seeds are planted comparatively shallow early in the spring and in heavy soils, and slightly deeper later in the season and in sandy soils.
- Space seeds properly in the row -- Plants that crowd do not develop properly.
- Firm soil after planting -- After the seeds have been covered to the proper depth with fine, moist soil, it is important to firm the soil particles around the seed to hasten germination. It may be easily and quickly done by light tamping with the back of the rake or hoe.
- The Miller Plant Farm Planting Guide is a complete guide that not only shows the quantity of seed required for a given space but also shows the depth at which to plant, approximate field planting dates and time to maturity. However, allowance should be made for the possible need to replant.
- It is best not to use seed more than one year old. If you do, sow the seed thicker to insure a good stand of plants. It usually does not pay to save your own seed unless you have a variety not avcailable from any other source. Do not save seed from an F-1 hybrid vegetable.
- Again try to rotate crops from year to year to prevent disease build up.