Spacing Your Vegetable Seeds

Spacing Your Vegetable Seeds

I remember the year that Dad purchased a 4-row Stanhay Seeder. It was miraculous!

Our old seeder would sow seed into the ground very imprecisely and often, clusters of cabbage, carrots would emerge from the soil with large gaps in between. 

The result was that our crops were not all that uniform and we spent hours trying to ‘thin’ the rows of vegetables so that they enough room to grow to their full potential.

The Stanhay seeder was a precision seeder that came with punched rubber belts allowing the seed to fall into the soil at just the right spacing. The result was crops that were more uniform and thinning was, never again, a dreaded job.

Now Stanhay seeders are not available for home gardeners, because they cost thousands of dollars and besides you need a large tractor to pull it!

So since a Stanhay is out of the question for urban gardens, getting the correct spacing for vegetable seed requires a steady hand. 

Keep in mind that most of us tend to sow too thickly so here is a guide for the distance between seeds.

Carrots   2.5 cm
Onions  2.5 cm
Lettuce 10 cm
Cabbage  25 cm
Rutabaga  25 cm

Some vegetable seeds come prespaced (carrots, beets) by being impregnated into a strip of cloth. For those with a less steady hand this is the way to go!

- Jim Hole

Also read about: Early Spring Sowing