How to Sow Small Seeds Like a Pro

How to sow super fine seed

Growing plants from seed can be difficult enough, a problem which can become almost unbearable when the seed is particularly small.

Grasses are a perfect example of a fine seed-bearing plant. This is especially problematic when you need to plant your seed evenly to achieve uniform distribution, something which is a necessity when it comes to growing grasses.

Thanks to our experts at Agriculture Academy, we have simplified the seed-sowing process to show you how easy it can be. Check out our video showing you our insider tips and tricks.


Sowing fine seed: An invaluable skill

Depending on the nursery type you are beginning, you may or may not grow your plants directly from seed. However, your chances of encountering a situation where you need to grow plants from tiny seed are pretty high. After all, you are in the business of plant propagation. Continue reading to be sure that you will never be undermined by super fine seed!

Gather your resources

A word of warning: you do not want to find yourself seedless or soil-less just as you are about to get planting! Save yourself time and effort by collecting all your equipment before you start. Make sure that you have:

  • Trays or flats
  • Germination mix
  • Coir
  • A trowel
  • An envelope
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • Fine maize meal
  • Plastic cling film
  • The seed you are going to sow
  • Coir

It may also be helpful to read our instructions fully before you begin. It will allow you to identify any grey areas which can be cleared up by giving our video a quick watch.

Be prepared

Some seeds are tricky enough to germinate in even the most ideal conditions. You don’t want to give these picky individuals another reason to not grow. Prep your trays beforehand by filling with a germination mix. We use a mixture of 70% coir and 30% vermiculite. Some garden centers also sell specialized germination medium which you can also use.

The most important thing you need to consider when it comes to choosing your germination mix is that the medium must be fine and dense enough. If your seed is super small, a fine mixture will allow the seed to sit on top of the soil instead of lodging deeper into the soil which will hinder germination.

Once your trays are filled, flatten and even the surface with a trowel.

Lastly, place a thin layer of coir on top of your soil and flatten once more.

Like what you're reading so far?

Maximize germination by treating your seeds with smoke seed primer!

Practice makes perfect

Wondering why we included an envelope in our list of resources? Well it is one of the most useful tools you can use when you’re sowing especially fine seed. Cut a corner piece of your envelope - remember to remove the contents before you do this. Open the corner piece and place your seed inside. If you gently tap the envelope, the seed will start to trickle out the end and fall evenly onto the growing medium. We recommend trying this a few times before sowing the seed to get the hang of this trick.

Get sowing

Once you feel confident using the envelope, you can sow the seed into your filled trays. Place a trays worth of seed into the envelope and scatter it evenly over the surface. Remember to give your trays a spray of water to keep the medium moist.

And there you have it, a tray of evenly sowed, fine seed ready to germinate and grow into beautiful plants for you and your nursery.

Continue reading for our

Top 3 Tips for sowing

super fine seed

Irrigate your trays with fine spray or mist systems only. Large water droplets can scatter your seed, bury them too deep in the soil and be quite destructive overall. A fine spray will maintain the integrity of your trays and seeds, whilst providing them with the necessary moisture for germination.

If you are still having difficulty sowing your seed using an envelope, you can mix your seed with maize meal. Put 2-3 tablespoons of maize meal into your envelope with the seed and gently mix it. Then sow your seed as normal. Maize meal acts as a bulkening agent making sowing of very fine such much easier!

To preserve moisture and increase the temperature of your growing medium, you can cover the tops of the trays with cling film. The seal does not need to be airtight, but it should be secure enough to prevent moisture loss. Place your trays in a warm, high-light environment to let the seeds germinate. Avoid direct sun as this will overheat and kill your seedlings.

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