How to sow seeds outdoors

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Takes just:

30 minutes

The warmth of spring and summer allows you to sow vegetable seeds outdoors in the soil. Here they'll quickly germinate to produce crops to enjoy this season. Try easy-to-grow salads such as radish, spring onion and salad bowl lettuce. You can also use this technique to grow flowering perennials and biennials as well as hardy annuals to brighten up you beds and borders. Sow into weed-free soil that has been dug, forked and raked to create a fine surface structure or 'tilth'.

You will need

  • Seeds
  • Area of prepared soil
  • Trowel
  • Length of timber to use as a straight edge
  • Watering can or hose


Make a shallow groove or 'drill' in prepared soil using the end of a trowel or bamboo cane. Use a length of timber to create straight drills. As a rule, the smaller the seed, the shallower the drill should be, but follow the instructions on the seed packet.

Sow seeds along the drill at the space suggested on the seed packet. Fine seeds can be thinned if you do end up sowing them too thickly.

Push soil in from either side of the drill to cover over the seed, breaking up any large lumps of soil as you go. Pat the surface of the soil to lightly firm it in place.

Dribble water along the drill using a watering can or hose to settle the soil. Keep soil moist as seed germinates and establish, removing any weeds that appear.


Mix fine seeds with a dry silver sand and dribble it into the drill from a folded piece of paper.

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