The Q&A Archives: Seed Planting

Question: I am starting a window herb garden for indoors. I just finished sowing seeds from various herbs. The instructions on the packets usually want planting about 1 inch apart. Some of the herb seeds are very tiny and almost impossible to plant exactly one seed as instructed. I found that I planted more seeds than required. What will happen if there are too many seeds in one pot?

Answer: If too many sprout too close together you will need to thin them out to allow for ample light and air circulation. Some gardeners thin by pulling out excess plants, others use a small scissors (such as nail scissors) to trim them away at the soil line. If you fail to thin them, the seedlings will grow leggy and be of poor quality. Crowding also invites fungal and other disease attacks which could wipe out the entire batch.

Gardeners use many different ways to sow as thinly as possible. Some mix the seed with sand and sprinkle that, some use tweezers to place each seed, some simply pour a small quantity onto a plate and brush the tiniest possible amount across the soil. Other gardeners simply thin the seedlings. With a little practice and experimentation you'll find what works best for you.

Good luck with your herbs!

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