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Creating & Using a Seedbed


Some seeds are best sown in a seedbed––for instance cabbage, kales, sprouts, sprouting broccoli and leeks; others, such as the root crops and lettuces are usually sown where they are to remain. As you may be sowing Brussels sprouts and leeks during March, let us first say something about

How to use a SEEDBED

Making Seed DrillHere are the essential points:–

Mark off a patch about 6 ft. by 4 ft. for a 200 square yard allotment or garden. Break down all lumps during a dry spell and remove any stones and all roots of grass or weeds.

Make the soil firm by treading it as soon as it is dry enough not to stick to your boots. Don’t stamp it down.

Loosen top surface by lightly raking. Place short sticks to mark ends of rows, which should be 4 ft. long across the bed and 6 in. apart. Stretch line between sticks.

Stand on a board so as not to tread ground too hard, and make shallow drill along line with label or stick.

Covering SeedSow an even single line of seed along bottom of drill. Cover seed lightly with soil. A good way is to shuffle slowly along with a foot on either side of the drill, and without raising the feet slide the soil back and lightly press it.

On heavy soil you may find it easier to scatter fine soil into the drill instead. Rake lightly to finish.

Here are two March items for the seedbed:–


A small packet of seed is enough for each of the cabbage family. Seed may be sown in seedbed drills about 1-1/2 in. deep – 1 ft. apart – from third week in March to end of April. Sow thinly, allowing 1/8 in. between each seed. To protect seedlings from birds use black cotton or wire guards and do it immediately after sowing.


Sow thinly in mid-March in shallow seedbed drills.