Skip to main content

Putting the Seeds to Bed, an excerpt from week 1

Day three of the internship and I finally remembered to bring my camera and snap some photos to better explain things. When I arrived around 8am, my first duty was to seed several flats according to the seeding schedule, which is maintained to ensure that there is a sufficient number of plants to distribute to the gardens at the right times. Seeding is done every week as plants need to be replaced, replanted, or when the optimal time arises for new plants to start their growing season.

Here are the steps we took to seeding the lettuce. Quite tedious, but pretty simple. This efficient method is not something I would have known intuitively.


I’m not too good at piano, but sometimes small fingers can come in handy when handling seeds this tiny….

1.    Fill seed bed with moist soil: SUFCo uses germination mix, which is a blend of peat moss, perlite, and dolomite lime. Balanced fertilizer is also added along with some water before filling the trays, making a welcomingly nutritious and moist bed for the seeds to germinate in.

2.  Push another similar tray down on top of that one to push the soil down, making a cozy niche for the seed to lay in

3.  Place one of the teeny-tiny seeds in each cup, keeping track of which varieties are in which row using tags. By limiting the number of seeds in each, we limit competition for light and nutrients between them. If too many seeds grow close together, the plants get “leggy”, meaning they grow up instead of flourishing out as they should.

4.   Cover with a thick, fluffy layer of soil

5.   Press the fluff down to compact the soil to hold the seeds in place (it’s like tucking them into their little beds!)

6.  Brush excess off, careful not to remove the soil in the cup

7.   Water the bed. Usually after watering, the beds would go straight to the comfy greenhouse, but since it’s now above 50 degrees at night, we can leave them outside to germinate! Hooray for warm weather!


And so it begins. After two flats of that, we had 256 lettuces all set to grow. In a few weeks, these little fellers will be ready to move to their new urban farm homes to mature to their full, healthy, leafy potential, perhaps eventually ending up in a refreshing summer salad.


“The word “miracle” aptly describes a seed.”

–       Jack Kramer

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed.  Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”

–       Henry David Thoreau

IMG_5622Seedlings almost ready to be transplanted!

Speak Your Mind


Skip to toolbar