Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Sowing straight to field  (Read 1723 times)

DenisCooper

  • Joined May 2016
Sowing straight to field
« on: March 19, 2021, 08:23:20 pm »
Hi,

I quite often sow seeds into modules and grow from their before planting out in the field. But I was planning on growing a load of salads and carrots which are tiny seeds. Has anyone got any tips for sowing these straight to the field?

Thanks

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Sowing straight to field
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2021, 11:38:01 pm »
Last year I tried seed tapes for carrots and parsnips.  They were successful, but I had expected them to be better spaced to avoid thinning.  Tapes would be prohibitively expensive on the scale you might need them for a field.
The only thing I can suggest is to mix the seeds with sand then practice a bit to see what thickness to sprinkle the sand to give a certain density of seeds. Don't do it on a windy day.
Or do you mean to use machinery? When I was young we sowed several acres each year of fodder beet, which has seeds like beetroot, using a tractor drawn seed drill with many channels.
Perhaps I should have asked just how big an area of carrots you intend to sow.
I normally use modules too to start my crops, although not carrots.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

DenisCooper

  • Joined May 2016
Re: Sowing straight to field
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2021, 08:54:49 am »
Thanks for the reply.

I’ve looked at seed drills for a tractor but I can’t find anything cheaply that looks any good. But no the carrots wouldn’t beat a massive scale. The salads probably a couple of hundred seeds, we have a large tortoise and he eats soooo much salad.

I looked at the walk behind seeders with the modules too but not sure how good they would be.

I then saw the seeders that look like a syringe but again don’t know how good they’d be.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Sowing straight to field
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2021, 09:31:43 am »
I've stopped thinning our carrots as it's such a fiddly job. Just sow them as thinly as possible by hand and harvest them by the fork full, discarding the little ones. The seeds are very cheap and we had a great result last year using that method. Doesn't work for beetroot or leeks though.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Sowing straight to field
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2021, 12:31:13 pm »
Hi,

I quite often sow seeds into modules and grow from their before planting out in the field. But I was planning on growing a load of salads and carrots which are tiny seeds. Has anyone got any tips for sowing these straight to the field?

Thanks
Salads - I mix the seeds, chuck them onto the ground and rake a little bit.
It's not worth growing salad leaves in modules - waste of time.
Cabbages, courgettes, pumpkins, beans - yes in modules.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Sowing straight to field
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2021, 12:04:33 am »
I've stopped thinning our carrots as it's such a fiddly job. Just sow them as thinly as possible by hand and harvest them by the fork full, discarding the little ones. The seeds are very cheap and we had a great result last year using that method. Doesn't work for beetroot or leeks though.
For fine seeds  mix an eggcup of dry wood ash & some dry silver sand add the seeds by sprinkling them over the material   when it's laid out on a sheet of paper ,  put it back in the egg cup  and thinly sow a pinch at a time along a cord line row   If you are able two long strips of planed wood or plastic  can be laid a penil thickness apart alongthe string .  do your sowing as best as you can between the strip then tip each strip up to drop any seed on it into the drill .

 Carrots  do best when the soil temp hits 20 oC or better

 Now laugh at what I do ,I made some sowing masks .
 I got hold of some 2 mm thick plastic sheet . made accurate 13 " squares  of it then  marked & cut 1/2 " holes in it with a cheap Chinese eBay diamond hole cutter using my bench drill so I have mask patterns of sowing squares with 16 , 12 , 9 & 5 holes in them . As three are no rough edges to the holes it so easy to lay a mask on my 900 mm high raised beds  and pop a few seeds on th material then use a finger tip to slide a single seed in a hole ( keep to a rigid sequence so you only put one seed in each hole .  When done sieve very fine dry soil over the mask and press it in the holes  . Remove the mask and  lightly fine sprinkle water over the sown square.

 Last year for the two of us I did 3 beds of 9 square feet with 16 carrots per square foot carrots spaced at 3 "apart in all directions .
 I cleared the beds a fortnight ago and pressure canned 24 pints of carrots that will see us through until the early carrots are here  and on till the end of march 2022.

  I've all so sown loads of other seeds using masks to have them thinned  from the start ( All our four beds of onion sets are sown accurately  using a mask on the bed too .. the four inch spacings makes weeding & feeding them so easy . This year we have three beds of brown onions and one bed of shallots which should give us about 350 onions  to harvest & store for use in late August 2021  through to end of May 2022.

 I've resorted to this level of precise calculating requirements & sowing so we can plan ahead what crops we can have and adjust our diets accordingly . It works well .. I've also drawn up an accurate sowing  planting out & harvesting calendar which brings things into a much better perspective  for continuous cropping and no waste .
 Meaning we can also  use the same  packet of seeds stored cool & dry over three or so years .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

naturelovingfarmer

  • Joined May 2021
  • Ohio River Valley
Re: Sowing straight to field
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 06:06:06 pm »
I sow by scattering in disorderly rows, and if a few are too close together, I thin them when they're big enough to eat as at least a garnish or perhaps a salad if I have a lot. I can't get lettuce to grow here without going bitter, but I plant other small seeds. by this method. When it's tobacco seeds (the smallest seeds I've ever seen) I scatter them mixed with fine sand and then transplant them when they're 2 inches tall. Tiny seeds, huge plants. Go figure.
Turn your problem into a solution. Learn new things. Adapt as you go. Plans should be fluid and subject to change. I start planning for things years in advance and by the time I do them they have usually changed radically.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Sowing straight to field
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2021, 11:28:26 pm »
Today I used the masks I mentioned previously to station sow three beds of nine one foot squares per bed with 25 carrot locations per square foot ,  sowing mid & late carrots.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

 

what are you sowing this week?

Started by the great composto (9.08)

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