This may seem like a non-problem to some, but I very often find myself with a handful of seeds and I totally forget what the seed spacing, row spacing and seed depth is supposed to be for any particular variety. I usually keep my seeds in a separate container and throw away the packet after planting one or two rows, then they get mixed up with others of the same type (hopefully).


I go out and I plant two rows and beets, two rows of turnips, two rows of radishes and two rows of carrots. I know from repetition that beets and turnips should be 3 inches apart and half an inch down, carrots sort of just rest on top of the soil and scattered in a line and radishes are like 2 inches apart and 1/4 inch apart.

Unfortunately, that's not always what it says on the seed packet, so I'm forced to re-calibrate.

What is an effective method for recollecting all the info on all the varieties of plants you're going to plant on any given day?

  • 3
    Why throw away the instructions?
    – BMitch
    Jun 24, 2011 at 18:37
  • @B Mitch, well, that's a good answer, but you can't keep everything and the real problem probably is short term memory loss. Jun 24, 2011 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


The spacing given on the seed packet is just a guideline. If you read different books you will see differing opinions (sometimes widely) on spacing. With some experience you figure out how big the plants will get and how close you want them. I plant two different varieties of cabbage, one short variety and one long season. The quick one doesn't get as big, so I plant them closer.

If you follow the seed packet directions for chard, you'll put them 12" apart (depending on whose seed you bought). But if you know you're growing them for baby cuttings, you'd be wasting a ton of space -- 3-4" would be better.

At any rate, on days when I really want to remember how close to plant, I check one of my favorite reference books (Garden Primer, Damrosch or How to Grow More Vegetables, Jeavons) and write myself a note: peas, 4".

As far as remembering depth, a rough rule of thumb is to plant the seed the depth of about double the size of the seed itself. For example, a pumpkin seed is about 1/2", so you want to plant it about 1" deep. Carrot seeds are tiny, so they only need to go about 1/8" deep.

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