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    Posted on March 21st, 2011 Pam No comments


    1. How deep to plant seeds.
    2. How far apart are the seeds?
    3. How far apart are the rows?
    4. How often should I water?
    5. How much should I water?
    6. When should I plant?
    7. When should I transplant?
    8. When should I harvest?
    9. What should I plant?
    10. How big should my garden be?
    11.  What should I plant next to each other?

    IT DEPENDS, that is the answer to these and many other gardening questions.

    Most of these questions will be answered the first year in the garden. But gardening is a continuous journey. As these questions are answered, harder questions will take their place.
    As my Mother used to say “The more you know, the more you don’t know.” I have gardened for a long time. I still have lots of questions every year, some are new, some are the same.

    Answer to number 1: How deep to plant seeds? 

    A general rule is to plant them four times the height of the seed, when the seed is laying down.  To plant small seeds such as carrots, radishes and lettuce; cover them with just enough soil so you can’t see the seed.  Or about 1/8 of an inch.  To plant large seeds like peas or beans; plant them 1 to 2 inches deep.   Seeds like cantalope, watermelon, squash and pumpkins are planted about 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep. 
    A special note about carrots and peas.  For some reason, these two vegetables can’t break through a crust in the soil.  They will die if they can’t break through the soil, so keep the soil moist or cover the seeds with sand, compost, potting soil or manure.

    Answer to number 2: How far apart are the seeds? 

    As a general rule the smaller the seed the closer you can plant them together.  But remember how large the vegetable will grow.  When planting radish seeds or onion seeds, the seeds are very small, but the vegetable will grow much larger than the seed.  So plant or thin accordingly.  
    The hard part is this; deciding how many seeds to plant to have a good ‘stand’ which means enough of a crop to harvest.  Remember, some of the seeds may not germinate, some bugs will eat, some will have diseases and some may not break through the crust.  I usually plant double what I think I need and then throw in a few extra for good measure.  The thing is, you can thin or cut off the extras, but if you don’t have anything to start with there is nothing to end with. 
    Peas and beans are usually planted about 1/2 inch apart.  Using a wide double row, each row should be about 3″ to 4″ wide.  With a row that wide, there is lots of room for seeds.
    Some vegetables are planted in hills.  This means they are planted in a group, with spaces from one foot to three feet between the groups.  Corn, potatoes, squash, pumpkins cucumbers are all examples of hill planting.  Corn and potatoes should have about 12″ distance between the hills. Squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, cantalopes and watermelon a distance of 3′ between hills. 
    When planting in a hill, usually three to five seeds are planted.  Then when the plants have grown to about three inches tall, thin the plants to two or three strongest plants per hill.

    Answer to number 3: How far apart are the rows?  

    There are several types of gardening: container gardening, square foot gardening, broadcast gardening, row gardening, high tunnel, low tunnel, cold frame, green house gardening and everything in between. Below I explain a double row method I use. Because I have lots of room to garden, most of my garden is planted in rows. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t use other methods too. In fact broadcasting lettuce, radishes, spinach and even onions is the most effecient use of space.
    For carrots, corn, peas, beans and onions I use the two row method. I plant two rows of the vegetables with a space in between them for a permanent drip soaker hose. Then I have a 24″ path and repeat with another double row.
    I have tried to describe it below, if you have questions, please ask me.







    corn————————–corn       This double row is about 12″ wide.





    ——-flat soaker hose——–         Note: when planting peas or beans the trellis goes here too.











    PATH       PATH        PATH       This path between the rows is 24″ wide.











    ——flat soaker hose———







































    corn————————–corn        This single row is about 4″ wide.














    PATH         PATH             PATH       This path between the rows is 24″ wide.
















    If 8 double rows are planted, the garden will be about 144″ wide. 

    If 8 single rows are planted, the garden will be about 224″ wide. 

    As this diagram shows, planting double rows will save lots of space. Planting double rows instead of single rows will allow three extra rows when planting eight double rows.  There is a space savings of about 10″ per row. The biggest difference is there is more room to plant and less paths to weed when planting double rows.    


    I am a big believer in growing as much as I can in the spaced I have.  Why have more paths to weed? Why have narrow rows between those wide paths?       

    I usually weed just once or twice in each area every year.  I try to weed early when weeds are tiny and try not to let weeds go to seed.  I don’t water weeds and I don’t water paths.  That really reduces the weed population.       

    Did this help?  Did this answer at least one of your questions?       

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