Planting a Garden

Plants from Seeds Outdoors

Straight lines help you tell the difference between plants and weeds.
Straight lines help you tell the difference between plants and weeds.

There are times to plant seeds directly in the garden. When this is successful, it is economical and very effective, for the plants grow without the disruption of being transplanted. 

Prepare the soil for planting and be sure the plot is fertile and smooth. Make rows or wide swaths for the seeds, following the timing and spacing directions on the packets. Straight lines help you discriminate between your plants and the weeds. The classic way to make straight lines is with posts and strings as a guide. Hoe along the string line for the shallow row. Plant seeds at the depth indicated on the packet and cover lightly with soil. Tamp down the soil over the seeds to make sure they are contacting the soil, and water them in. Be sure to mark the rows.

Many of the guidelines for indoor planting also apply to outdoor planting, but a main difference is pest control. Tiny plants are vulnerable to everything from aphids to chipmunks, so it's a good idea to plant more than you need and thin the plants later. Once they get past babyhood and are several inches high, thin them; they need space for the fast growth they are about to make.

Keep reading to learn about cuttings from stems.

Looking for more information about gardening? Try these:

  • Gardening: Learn the basics of successful gardening.
  • How to Start a Garden: Even beginning gardeners can get a healthy garden in the ground and growing.
  • Annuals: Plant these beauties in your garden for bountiful blooms all summer.
  • Perennials: Perennial plants grace your garden year after year.