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Second easiest direct seeding method that requires no equipment  RSS feed

 
dan long
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I couldn't remember where I had read about this until this morning I was reading Solomans Gardening Without Irrigation and came across it again. In ease, this is probably second only to Sepp's mthod of broadcasting by hand and kicking up dust but "Fluid Drilling" with a baggie is probably much more practical on raised beds; a necessity for some of us.

Summer: How to Fluid Drill Seeds

Soaking seeds before sowing is another water-wise technique, especially useful later in the season. At bedtime, place the seeds in a half-pint mason jar, cover with a square of plastic window screen held on with a strong rubber band, soak the seeds overnight, and then drain them first thing in the morning. Gently rinse the seeds with cool water two or three times daily until the root tips begin to emerge. As soon as this sign appears, the seed must be sown, because the newly emerging roots become increasingly subject to breaking off as they develop and soon form tangled masses. Presprouted seeds may be gently blended into some crumbly, moist soil and this mixture gently sprinkled into a furrow and covered. If the sprouts are particularly delicate or, as with carrots, you want a very uniform stand, disperse the seeds in a starch gelatin and imitate what commercial vegetable growers call fluid drilling.

Heat one pint of water to the boiling point. Dissolve in 2 to 3 tablespoons of ordinary cornstarch. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to cool. Soon the liquid will become a soupy gel. Gently mix this cool starch gel with the sprouting seeds, making sure the seeds are uniformly blended. Pour the mixture into a 1-quart plastic zipper bag and, scissors in hand, go out to the garden. After a furrow--with capillarity restored--has been prepared, cut a small hole in one lower corner of the plastic bag. The hole size should be under 1/4 inch in diameter. Walk quickly down the row, dribbling a mixture of gel and seeds into the furrow. Then cover. You may have to experiment a few times with cooled gel minus seeds until you divine the proper hole size, walking speed and amount of gel needed per length of furrow. Not only will presprouted seeds come up days sooner, and not only will the root be penetrating moist soil long before the shoot emerges, but the stand of seedlings will be very uniformly spaced and easier to thin. After fluid drilling a few times you'll realize that one needs quite a bit less seed per length of row than you previously thought.
 
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