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How do you sow those really tiny seeds? Any tips appreciated

Like lettuce and carrots seeds ...they are so small! :shock: How do you all sow them so as not to waste them. they are so small.

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Green Thumb
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Yeah, its a little difficult with carrots. One thing I have heard others doing is growing carrots inside and transplanting them out in the garden when they are bigger. This does make a lot of sense but its a little tricky to do. I may try this next year. However since carrot seeds are not to expensive (except the mixed of purple rain, the yellow etc etc) I would just sprinkle lightly and thin when needed.

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I actually used tweezers when I planted carrots. I can't pinch my fingers that tightly together (it triggers carpal tunnel problems if I do), so I used tweezers as a natural "finger extension." I placed two seeds in each planting location.

If you'd rather use your own hands, maybe mix the seeds with a small amount of fine sand and then take a pinch of the mixture?

I use Square Foot Gardening and other intensive methods in raised beds, so my planting locations were only approx. 6 or so inches apart. I got some very tasty carrots, too: Dragon and Scarlet Nantes.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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These work well.


as do these.


Both designs allow you to load bulk seed into a chamber and then slowly shake individual seeds into a prepared hole. I typically use a small stick and push it into the ground about 1/4" in rows. When the rows are ready, I shake the seed into the holes and then cover the whole thing with some light weight soil or sand and press down lightly. It is a little tedious, but easier than trying to pick up and plant individual seeds.

Another method I use is to simply mix some seed with sand or potting soil in a bucket and then spread the mix over the garden bed about 1/4" to 1/2" thick. I get good seed dispersal this way also. Don't overseed or be prepared to thin the sprouts.


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soak the seeds in water overnight. When you are planting, dip your fingertip into the water, you should come away with a drop of water and some seeds on your fingertip, stick finger into soil, seed and water should get transfered, cover it up and repeat.

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how 2 sow small seeds hmmm...

The 1st picture from tedln reminds me of my turkey baster or the syringe I use to inject my ham hmmm improvise, improvise...thanks.

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I've also heard of people using a salt or pepper shaker.
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Green Thumb
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I bought seedmaster thingy, so I can try it out. Maybe with my lettuce seeds.

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I saw the Seedmaster thing on the rack at Tractor Supply last week. I think it cost $2.95. I already have the other one and it works well. It is hard for me to be patient enough to shake the seeds into the tray, but that is my fault; not the seeders fault.


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I use the mix with fine sand trick. One caution if you're seeding outdoors -- DON'T TOSS your sand/seed-mix .... :wink: ... they separate remarkably well mid-air :roll: :lol:. Drop a pinch every couple of inches (carrots) or 3~4" (lettuce) where you want the seeds to go. Since both lettuce and carrots should only be lightly covered, if at all, I "dust" the fine sand mixed with compost over the entire area afterwards.

I admit I started carrots seeds ahead last year for a long maturing type called Healthmaster (110 days). It worked well albeit a bit tedious to handle carefully. But this year, I've been way too overwhelmed with other seed starting projects, so I just direct seeded. I HAVE re-located a few seedlings outside when they were growing in the "wrong" place. They seem to be OK being moved around as long as you water them in well.

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Super Green Thumb
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Sprinkle them on the soil surface then cover then with sand.

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Green Thumb
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Yep mix with a handful of sand.

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Super Green Thumb
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Agree.... for all the direct seeded in the ground ones, I just mix the seed with some potting soil and then sprinkle it in the row. I still need to thin them, but all the greens I just wait to thin until they are baby lettuce size and then eat the thinnings, so nothing is really wasted.

I've always heard carrots don't like to be transplanted, but I haven't tried it, so I can't say from personal experience.

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Unused! lol.
I use a hand seeder similar to Ted's 2nd link. It really works well, but I wish I could find a metal one. Mine is made from a cheap plastic and it feels like it could easily break.

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Greener Thumb
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make that works perfect!

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Most all the small garden veggie seeds can be planted 1/2 inch deep. The few exceptions are some of the herbs that have miniscule seeds.

It is time consuming to place each seed, but it doesn't take any longer than making home made seed tape. A packet of small seed will go a long way if you spread the seed out properly and don't have to thin later. Thinning is work and pretty much a waste of good seed.

Farmer Bob
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Sowing tiny seeds

Hi Folks, I usually mix my tiny seeds with a bit of sand, half fill an old pepper cellar and lightly sprinkle the mix over the area where I'm planting that particular veg . I then lightly cover the area with earth and lightly tap the top earth down. That way I find I don't waste / over seed the area and neither do I have to transplant to thin out. Give it a try.!

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One fairly easy thing to do is to make your furrow, open the seed packet, and then gently shake the packet so that only a few seeds come out at a time. You could even do this in certain spots along the row so that they are in already-spaced "groups". This helps to cut down on the thinning.

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