In the Garden: Seed Sowing Solutions

Creative solutions for a beautiful garden.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Bottles

During dry spells, a good way to get water to the roots of your plants is to place several drip irrigators around your garden. You can make them from clean 1-gallon (3.7-liter) juice or detergent jugs. Cut a large hole in the bottom of a jug, then drill 2-5 tiny (about 1/16-inch or 1.5-millimeter) holes in or around the cap. Bury the capped jugs upside down about three-quarters submerged beneath the soil near the plants you need to water, and fill with water through the hole on top. Refill as often as needed.

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Corks

Here’s a neat trick for quickly getting your seeds sown in straight rows of evenly spaced holes. Mark out the spacing you need on a board. Drill drywall screws through the holes, using screws that will pro-trude about 3/4 inch (2 centimeters) through the board. Now twist wine corks onto the screws. Just press the board, corks down, into your garden bed, and voilà — instant seed holes.

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Emery Boards

Use an emery board to remove the hard coating on seeds before you plant them. This will speed sprouting and help them absorb moisture.

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Ice-Cream Scoops

If you’re out in the garden faced with a plot of earth that needs seeding, turn to your kitchen drawer for help. An ice-cream scoop will make equal-sized planting holes for the seeds for your future harvest.

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Paintbrushes

Sow your seeds with a little TLC. When planting seeds in rows, use a large paintbrush to gently brush them over with soil. This lets you distribute the exact amount of soil needed and prevents overpacking.

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String

It’s harder than it looks to make straight garden rows freehand. Use string two ways to keep plants in line:

  • For planting heavy seeds such as beans, put sticks in the ground at each end of a row and run a piece of string between to guide you as you plant.
  • To plant dozens of lightweight seeds in a snap, cut string to the length of a row, wet it thoroughly, then sprinkle the seed directly on it. The moisture will make seeds stick long enough to lay the string in a prepared furrow. Just cover the string with soil and you’re done!

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Tape

Make your own seed strip to create perfectly straight rows in your garden with almost no effort. Sprinkle some seeds on a piece of wax paper and use your fingers to arrange and align them. After removing the excess, take a strip of transparent tape and place it over the seeds. Then just bury the tape in the garden and you will soon have perfect rows.

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