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Soil/Seedng Question

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by Marina on April 25, 2006 03:54 AM
I wanted to thank everyone again for their help with my peas last week. I have a few questions about my garden, and this seems like a great place [Wink]

1. It been raining pretty hard for days... the soil has started to dry and the top soil that was previously light and fluffy to encourage seedlings to come up is starting to cake and it quite hard. Should I do something to the soil? I am worried that digging around in it will kill seedlings that haven't yet emerged.

2. I planted a ton of seeds the saturday before this past one. Birds that been having a great time doing what seems like digging up and eating the seeds. How soon should I begin to worry if I don't see a lot of seedlings coming up (and I barley see any!)? Should I reseed the area?

Thanks for any suggestions you folks might have [Smile]

by markr on April 25, 2006 11:32 AM
if the top layer of soil has a hard crust, then your gonna have to keep it well watered until the seeds germinate!
if you put your seeds in rows, and marked where they are, i would use a hoe first, either side then water.

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by Wrennie on April 26, 2006 12:57 AM
Ditto to what Mark said. Just be careful not to overwater to the point of rotting the seeds.
I turned over my garden about 3 weeks ago. The birds love when I do. They "attack" the turned soil but not for seeds.(I know this cause I haven't planted any yet)They're in there picking out bugs and bug larva & eggs that I dont even see. If you want to be sure they're not eating your seeds you can get floating row covers. Its a white gauzy material that lets light and moisture in but keeps the birds off. Dont use that black bird netting they get caught and strangled in that stuff. [Frown]

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by Longy on April 26, 2006 02:52 AM
As a guide. large seeds like peas, corn and pumpkin only require one watering until they come up. Or they will rot in the ground. So any large seeds you sowed will have enough water to emerge after the recent rain. Perhaps they have had too much and have rotted. Small seed like carrots, onions etc require constant moisture. They don't have the ability to take in large volumes of water and if they dry out they will perish immediately. So you may need to water them a few times a day to get good germination.

To keep birds out, for rows, net the seeded areas. Pretty much anything will do including a strip of bedsheet on the soil surface. Most seeds don't need light to germinate, they need moisture and warmth. Light only plays a part once they come up. So even a piece of board along the row will be enough to retain moisture and keep birds and heavy rain from the seed.

For individually placed seeds, like corn,pumpkin or tomato planted where they are to grow, place a small plant pot with the base cutout or a tin can with both ends removed over the sown seed and lay a piece of newspaper on the soil surface inside the plant pot. This will also allow you to mulch around the seed without burying the seeds, the paper will hold the moisture and the pot/tin can will protect against slugs n snails, cutworm, wind, birds etc.
For both of the above methods, check under the board, sheet, paper etc daily until first signs of seedling emergence then remove the cover.

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The secret is the soil.
by Marina on April 26, 2006 04:43 AM
Thanks to all who replied. I think problem is the ground is waaaay too wet. The rain was just too much becauase recently while viewing the area I have noticed some partially germinated peas/beans/etc that have sort of rotted and stopped growing.

Should I dig these up and let the ground dry out a bit and reseed?

Also... if anyone grows carrots (mine are baby carrots) what do they look like coming up? Mine seems to look like tiny grass coming up. I am not sure if this is carrots or something else?
by mater sandwich on April 26, 2006 05:53 AM
The tiny 2 leaf grass would be the carrots. This is my first year for carrots and I am growing 3 types. Mine took just over 2 weeks for the "true" leaves to start. I can't think of a good way to describe them but they will have a distinctively different look than the "grass" that is there now.
Good luck with yours.

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