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June 17, 2010 / Malcolm Dalebö

How to Make a Seed Bed

  • The concept of a seedbed is a specially prepared bed used to grow plants in a controlled environment before transplanting them into the allotment. 
  • A seedling bed is used to increase the number of seeds that germinate. 
  • Once the seedlings have matured in the seedling bed, they are then transplanted into a larger bed or a garden.

The preparation of a seedbed may include:

  • The removal of debris. Insect eggs and disease spores are often found in plant debris and so this is removed from the plot. 
  • Stones and larger debris will also physically prevent the seedlings from growing.
  • Levelling. The site will have been levelled for even drainage.
  • Breaking up the soil. Compacted soil will be broken up by digging. This allows air and water to enter, and helps the seedling penetrate the soil. 
  • Smaller seeds require a finer soil structure. The surface of the soil can be broken down into a fine granular structure using a rake.
  • Soil improvement. The soil structure may be improved by the introduction of organic matter such as compost or peat.
  • Fertilizing. The nitrate and phosphate levels of the soil can be adjusted with fertilizer. If the soil is deficient in any micro nutrients, these too can be added.
  • The seedlings may be left to grow to adult plants in the seedbed, perhaps after thinning to remove the weaker ones, or they may be moved to a growing bed as young plants.

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