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Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

5 Gardening Hacks for Sowing Seeds


You reap what you sow, but sometimes what you sow refuses to cooperate. Follow these seed-sowing tips to prevent gardening disasters.

1. Seed tapes. Roll out a strip of toilet paper to the length of your row (or use a square of paper towel if you’re planting in blocks). Mix equal parts flour and water together to make a paste. Place a dab of paste at the correct spacing on the paper. Put two seeds onto each dab of paste, and fold over the toilet paper. Allow the paste to dry, label the seed tape, then roll it up and store until you’re ready to plant.

2. Tiny seeds. Mix a pinch of tiny seeds with two teaspoons of fine, dry sand. Sprinkle along your seed drill, then backfill.

3. Big seeds. Gently roll large or tough seeds between two sheets of sandpaper until the seed coat just starts to rub off. Alternatively, soak your seeds in a bowl of lukewarm water for 24 hours.

4. See your seeds. Lining your seed drill with toilet paper makes small, dark seeds easier to see. Backfill your seed drill with potting soil so that it stands out from the surrounding soil. Or, sow quick-growing seeds which will germinate within a few days along with slow growers to mark the location of the row.

5. Slow-growing seeds. Chitting, or pre-sprouting seeds, works well for slow-growing seeds. Line a sealable container with two sheets of damp paper towel. Add your seeds, and then cover with two more sheets of damp paper towel. Press on the lid. Keep the container at about 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as the seeds are showing tiny roots, plant them immediately.

Learn more about seed-sowing tips in this video.

More Gardening Resources

Our popular Vegetable Garden Planner can help you map out your garden design, space crops, know when to plant which crops in your exact location, and much more.

Need crop-specific growing information? Browse our Crops at a Glance Guide for advice on planting and caring for dozens of garden crops.

More Videos

Watch more videos on gardening techniques and other self-reliance, DIY topics on our Wiser Living Videos page.