Direct Seeding – Field Exercise

Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education
(SARE) Farm Internship Curriculum and Handbook


Tom and Maud Powell and Michael Moss, Sustainable Farmers, Jackson County, OR.
Technical advisor: Tim Franklin, Jacksonville, OR.
Curriculum advisor: Peter O’Connell, Jacksonville, OR.
Web advisor: National Center for Appropriate Technology, Butte, MT.
Published 2007
Updated 2010


Direct Seeding – Field Exercise


First, Discuss what Crops to Direct Seed and Why

  1. Preparation of bed
    1. Incorporation of green manure crop (discuss)
    2. Subsoiling (discuss)
    3. Forming bed, addition and incorporation of amendments – activity/demonstration. Use tractor and rototiller. Discuss that seed size dictates fineness of soil needed to direct seed. Base amendments on needs of crop.
  2. Seeding
    1. Methods
      1. Seeder – choose correct plate for seed, troubleshooting, gauging success
      2. Hand – slower but more accurate, inappropriate for larger scale
    2. Determining depth of seed – rule of thumb
    3. Covering seed – with soil or sand – discuss pros and cons
  3. Subsequent
    1. Irrigation – frequent and sufficient enough to ensure good germination – critical at seedling stage in hot weather.
    2. B. Thinning – when plants reach appropriate size, thin to desired spacing – based on desired size at harvest. Demonstrate/practice thinning.


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