Sign up for the
Weekly Harvest Newsletter!

Published every Wednesday, the Weekly Harvest e-newsletter is a free Web digest of sustainable agriculture news, resources, events and funding opportunities gleaned from the Internet. See past issues of the Weekly Harvest.
Sign up here

Sign up for the Weekly Harvest Newsletter

What Is Sustainable Agriculture?

Master Publication List

Search Our Databases

Urban Agriculture

Energy Alternatives

Beginning Farmer

Field Crops

Horticultural Crops

Livestock & Pasture

Value-Added Food Products

Local Food Systems

Food Safety

Marketing, Business & Risk Management

Organic Farming

Pest Management

Soils & Compost

Water Management

Ecological Fisheries and Ocean Farming

Other Resources

Sign Up for The Dirt E-News

Home Page

Contribute to NCAT


Newsletter sign up button

· Privacy Policy · Newsletter Archives

RSS Icon XML Feeds

RSS 2.0: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunities Atom: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunities


NCAT strives to make our information available to everyone who needs it. If you are a limited-access or low-income farmer and find that one of our publications is just not in your budget, please call 800-346-9140.


How are we doing?


Home > Master Publication List > Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Farm Internship Curriculum and Handbook > Direct Seeding

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

Published 2007
Updated 2010

Direct Seeding

Learning Objectives
The learner will:

  • Gain a solid understanding of direct sowing, and in doing so create the best environment for seeds to thrive


What Crops Should Be Direct Sown and Why?

  • Root nature of direct sown crops: often tap rooted
  • Intended density of crop: Direct-sown crops require sowing at high density and eventual thinning
  • Scale of production: Many crops are direct sown on a large scale to avoid additional production costs
  • Exceptions: Many, if not all crops, including tap-rooted crops, may be transplanted if sown and transplanted in clusters


Review Optimal Environmental Considerations for Seed Germination

  • Soil Moisture
  • Degree of Secondary Cultivation
  • Soil temperature


Preparation of Bed

  • Incorporation of green manure crop (discuss)
  • Subsoiling (discuss)
  • 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



  • Methods
    • Seeder - choose correct plate for seed, troubleshooting, gauging success
    • Hand - slower but more accurate, inappropriate for larger scale
  • Determining depth of seed - rule of thumb
  • Covering seed - with soil or sand - discuss pros and cons



  • Irrigation - frequent and sufficient enough to ensure good germination - critical at seedling stage in hot weather
  • Thinning - when plants reach appropriate size, thin to desired spacing - based on desired size at harvest. Demonstrate/practice thinning


«« Back to Intern Curriculum


Back to top

This page was last updated on: August 25, 2014