SOWING AND PLANTING
The importance of having good seeds has already been declared. They
must not only grow, but grow into what we have bought them for--be true
to name. Without the latter quality we cannot be sure of good gardens,
and without the former they
will not be full ones. A meagre "stand"
from seeds properly sown is a rather exasperating and discouraging
experience to encounter. The cost for fertilizing and preparing the
land is just as much, and the cost of cultivating very nearly as much,
when the rows are full of thrifty plants or strung out with poor ones.
Whether you use ten cents' worth or ten dollars' worth, the best seed
to be had will be the most economical to buy--to say nothing of the
satisfaction that full rows give.
And yet good seedsmen are more thoughtlessly and unjustly abused in the
matter of seed vitality than in any other. Inexperienced gardeners seem
universally to have the conviction that the only thing required in seed
sowing is to cover the seed with soil. What sort of soil it is, or in
what condition, or at what depth or temperature the seed is planted,
are questions about which they do not trouble themselves to think.
Two conditions--moisture and warmth--are necessary to induce
germination of seeds, no matter how full of life they may be; and as
was shown in the preceding chapter the different varieties have some
choice as to the degree of each, especially of temperature. This means
of course that some commonsense must be used in planting, and when
planting outdoors, where we cannot regulate the temperature to our
need, we simply must regulate our seed sowing to its dictates, no
matter how impatient we may be.
To insure the best possible germination, and thus the best gardening,
we must, first of all then, settle the question of temperature when
sowing out-of-doors. For practical work it serves to divide the garden
vegetables into two groups, though in planting, the special suggestions
in the following chapter should be consulted.
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Next: WHEN TO SOW OUTDOORS
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