Seeds forum: Too many seeds in an area

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Chicago Suburbs (Zone 5b)
blosky2001
May 16, 2017 8:04 AM CST
I am new to gardening and wanted to try direct sowing seed.
Ok, I'm going to make my excuses right up front. I dug up a 5 x 3 area and removed all the rocks by putting the dirt through a sieve. It took me 3 hours to do this. I was tired, dinner was ready, my son wanted to play, it was getting dark, blah blah blah.
I made two rows with a stick for planting. Instead of taking my time when actually planting the seeds, I kind of just tossed a bunch in there, sometimes 5-8 in one spot. I was doing black eyed susans and shasta daisies. The shasta daisy area should have had 30-50 seeds and I put 150. Black eyed susans area received 100.
So my questions are:
1. Will too many seeds in an area mess up germination?
2. Will I be able to gently separate some of them once they start to grow?
3. Should I use a rake and spread them out?

Thanks in advance
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
May 16, 2017 8:08 AM CST
I have done that too!
I usually let small seeds just stay and germinate where they fall.
Then when they are about one inch high , I separate the seedlings and replant them. Water the area well before trying to separate them.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
May 17, 2017 6:58 PM CST

Moderator

Many of us are guilty of overplanting. You can either just remove extra seedlings by cutting them off at ground level, or you can try to carefully dig them up and transplant elsewhere. Don't feel bad about culling some seeds--it will allow the others to develop better if you thin them. (yes, I know it goes against everything we strive for to throw out seedlings)
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
May 17, 2017 7:14 PM CST
#1. I don't think it will hurt greatly harm germination.

#2. Yes, you should be able to easily transplant some of them.

#3. I think spreading them out would be the best choice.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
May 18, 2017 3:46 PM CST
blosky2001 said: I dug up a 5 x 3 area and removed all the rocks by putting the dirt through a sieve. It took me 3 hours to do this

Instead of taking my time when actually planting the seeds, I kind of just tossed a bunch in there, sometimes 5-8 in one spot.

I was doing black eyed susans and shasta daisies. The shasta daisy area should have had 30-50 seeds and I put 150. Black eyed susans area received 100.

So my questions are:
1. Will too many seeds in an area mess up germination?
2. Will I be able to gently separate some of them once they start to grow?
3. Should I use a rake and spread them out?


I think that spending 3 hours on a tiny 3 foot by 5 foot area is where the mistake was made.

Next to lake michigan, I would expect you to have excellent soil, remove the turf, turn the soil, scatter the seed.
when I sow seed, I don't worry too much about rows, or planting seeds 1 at a time...

They're wildflowers...
unless we're working in a greenhouse with seed flats, wildflowers typically don't have great germination.

Personally, I wouldn't plan on doing much with this patch of wildflowers... except dig more beds, and try to avoid sifting out the rocks or any of that stuff...

after scattering seed in the additional beds... maybe you can compare results.

After the seedlings come up... maybe you can pot some up.... But... I suggest waiting until the plants are large enough to handle.

In greenhouse nurseries, they may transplant with tweezers... but... we aren't working in those nursery propagation rooms... I use a regular shovel when I transplant.

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