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Sowing is the process of planting. An area or object that has had seeds planted in it will be described as a sowed area.


Plants which are usually sown

Among the major field crops,
oat The oat (''Avena sativa''), sometimes called the common oat, is a of grown for its seed, which is known by the same name (usually in the plural, unlike other cereals and ). While oats are suitable for human consumption as and , one of the m ...
s,
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'' ...

wheat
, and
rye Rye (''Secale cereale'') is a grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. It includes the cereal grasses, bamboo Bamboos are a diverse group of ev ...

rye
are sown, grasses and legumes are seeded and
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be ...

maize
and
soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation ...

soybean
s are planted. In planting, wider rows (generally 75  cm (30  in) or more) are used, and the intent is to have precise; even spacing between individual seeds in the row, various mechanisms have been devised to count out individual seeds at exact intervals.


Depth of sowing

In sowing, little if any soil is placed over the seeds, as seeds can be generally sown into the soil by maintaining a planting depth of about 2-3 times the size of the seed.


Sowing types and patterns

For hand sowing, several sowing types exist; these include: * Flat sowing * Ridge sowing * Wide bed sowing Several patterns for sowing may be used together with these types; these include: * Regular rows * Rows that are indented at the even rows (so that the seeds are * Symmetrical grid pattern – using the pattern described in
The Garden of Cyrus ''The Garden of Cyrus'', or ''The Quincuncial Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Ancients, naturally, artificially, mystically considered'', is a discourse by Thomas Browne, Sir Thomas Browne. First published in 1658, along with its diptych c ...
placed in a crossed pattern). This method is much better, as more light may fall on the seedlings as they come out.


Types of sowing


Hand sowing

Hand sowing or (planting) is the process of casting handfuls of seed over prepared ground, or broadcasting (from which the
technological term
technological term
is derived). Usually, a drag or
harrow Harrow may refer to: Places * Harrow, Victoria, Australia * Harrow, Ontario, Canada * The Harrow, County Wexford, a village in Ireland * London Borough of Harrow, England, UK ** Harrow, London, a town ** Harrow (UK Parliament constituency) ** Harr ...
is employed to incorporate the seed into the soil. Though
labor-intensive Labor intensity is the relative proportion of Labour (economics), labor (compared to Capital (economics), capital) used in any given process. Its inverse is capital intensity. Labor intensity has been declining since the onset of the Industrial Rev ...
for any but small areas, this method is still used in some situations. Practice is required to sow evenly and at the desired rate. A hand seeder can be used for sowing, though it is less of a help than it is for the smaller seeds of
grasses Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous Family (biology), family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. It includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and species cultivated in ...
and
legumes A legume () is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can ...

legumes
. Hand sowing may be combined with pre-sowing in
seed tray A tray is a shallow platform designed for the carrying of items. It can be fashioned from numerous materials, including silver Silver is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The perio ...
s. This allows the plants to come to strength indoors during cold periods (e.g. spring in temperate countries). In
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
, most seed is now sown using a
seed drill A seed drill is a device used in agriculture that sows seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The ...
, which offers greater precision; seed is sown evenly and at the desired rate. The drill also places the seed at a measured distance below the soil, so that less seed is required. The standard design uses a fluted feed metering system, which is volumetric in nature; individual seeds are not counted. Rows are typically about 10–30 cm apart, depending on the
crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most crops are cultivated in agriculture Agriculture is th ...

crop
species and growing conditions. Several row opener types are used depending on
soil type A soil type is a taxonomic unit in soil science Soil science is the study of soil File:Stagnogley.JPG, Surface-water-Gley soil, gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquid ...
and local tradition. Grain drills are most often drawn by
tractor A tractor is an engineering vehicle Heavy equipment or heavy machinery refers to heavy-duty vehicle Truck classifications are typically based upon the maximum loaded weight of the truck, typically using the gross vehicle weight ratin ...

tractor
s, but can also be pulled by
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to ...

horse
s.
Pickup truck A pickup truck or pickup is a light-duty truck Light truck or light-duty truck is a US classification for truck mining truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and con ...

Pickup truck
s are sometimes used, since little draft is required. A seed rate of about 100 kg of seed per hectare (2 bushels per acre) is typical, though rates vary considerably depending on crop species, soil conditions, and farmer's preference. Excessive rates can cause the crop to lodge, while too thin a rate will result in poor utilisation of the land, competition with
weed A weed is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can late ...

weed
s and a reduction in the
yield Yield may refer to: Measures of output/function Computer science * Yield (multithreading) is an action that occurs in a computer program during multithreading * See generator (computer programming) Physics/chemistry * Yield (chemistry), the amou ...
.


Open field

Open-field planting refers to the form of sowing used historically in the agricultural context whereby
fields File:A NASA Delta IV Heavy rocket launches the Parker Solar Probe (29097299447).jpg, FIELDS heads into space in August 2018 as part of the ''Parker Solar Probe'' FIELDS is a science instrument on the ''Parker Solar Probe'' (PSP), designed to mea ...
are prepared generically and left open, as the name suggests, before being sown directly with seed. The seed is frequently left uncovered at the surface of the soil before germinating and therefore exposed to the prevailing
climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a la ...

climate
and conditions like storms etc. This is in contrast to the
seedbed A seedbed or seedling bed is the local soil environment in which seeds are planted. Often it comprises not only the soil but also a specially prepared cold frame 250px, A traditional homemade cold frame In agriculture Agriculture is the s ...
method used more commonly in domestic
gardening Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists ar ...

gardening
or more specific (modern) agricultural scenarios where the seed is applied beneath the soil surface and monitored and manually tended frequently to ensure more successful growth rates and better yields.


Pre-treatment of seed and soil before sowing

Before sowing, certain seeds first require a treatment prior to the sowing process. This treatment may be seed
scarification Scarifying (also scarification modification) involves scratching, etching , who is believed to have been the first to apply the technique to printmaking. '', an etching by Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also , ; 15 July 1606&nb ...
,
stratification Stratification may refer to: In mathematics: * Stratification (mathematics), any consistent assignment of numbers to predicate symbols * Stratified sampling , Data stratification in statistics In earth sciences: * Stable and unstable stratificati ...
, seed soaking or seed cleaning with cold (or medium hot) water. Seed soaking is generally done by placing seeds in medium hot water for at least 24 to up to 48 hours Seed cleaning is done especially with fruit, as the flesh of the fruit around the seed can quickly become prone to attack from insects or plagues.Sprout safety: how to combat contamination of seed
Seed washing is generally done by submerging cleansed seeds 20 minutes in 50
degree Celsius The degree Celsius is a unit of temperature on the Celsius scale, a temperature scale Scale of temperature is a methodology of calibrating the physical quantity temperature in metrology. Empirical scales measure temperature in relation to conven ...

degree Celsius
water.Exotische vruchten kweken by Dr Gabriele Lehari This (rather hot than moderately hot) water kills any organisms that may have survived on the skin of a seed. Especially with easily infected
tropical fruit The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is one of several larg ...

tropical fruit
such as
lychee Lychee (US: ; UK: ; ''Litchi chinensis''; ) is the sole member of the genus ''Litchi'' in the soapberry family, ''Sapindaceae The Sapindaceae are a family (biology), family of flowering plants in the order Sapindales known as the soapber ...

lychee
s and
rambutan Rambutan (; taxonomic name: ''Nephelium lappaceum'') is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae The Sapindaceae are a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent So ...

rambutan
s, seed washing with high-temperature water is vital. In addition to the mentioned seed pretreatments,
seed germination A seed is an embryonic plant Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energ ...

seed germination
is also assisted when a disease-free soil is used. Especially when trying to germinate difficult seed (e.g. certain tropical fruit), prior treatment of the soil (along with the usage of the most suitable soil; e.g.
potting soil Potting soil, also known as potting mix or miracle soil, is a medium in which to grow plants, herbs and vegetables in a pot or other durable container. The first recorded use of the term is from an 1861 issue of the ''American Agriculturist''. I ...

potting soil
, prepared soil or other
substrate Substrate may refer to: Physical layers *Substrate (biology), the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the surface or medium on which an organism grows or is attached **Substrate (locomotion), the surface over which an organism loco ...
s) is vital. The two most used soil treatments are
pasteurisation Pasteurization or pasteurisation is a process in which packaged and non-packaged foods (such as milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammal ...
and sterilisation. Depending on the necessity, pasteurisation is to be preferred as this does not kill all organisms. Sterilisation can be done when trying to grow truly difficult crops. To pasteurise the soil, the soil is heated for 15 minutes in an oven of 120 °C.


See also

* Advance sowing *
Plant propagation Plant propagation is the process by which new plants grow from a variety of sources: seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bro ...
*
Planter (farm implement) John Deere MaxEmerge XP Planter with Case IH AFS precision farming system which auto-steers using GPS A planter is a agricultural machinery, farm implement, usually towed behind a tractor, that sowing, sows (plants) seeds in rows throughout a fie ...
*
Priming (agriculture) Nano seed priming in botany and agriculture is a form of seed planting preparation in which the seeds are pre-soaked in nanoparticle solution. Seeds are considered to be an important part of crop life cycle as it influences the propagation of criti ...
*
Seed drill A seed drill is a device used in agriculture that sows seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The ...
; a mechanical aid allowing much better and faster seed dispersal than when done by hand


References

{{Authority control Horticultural techniques Horticulture Agronomy Habitat management equipment and methods
Plant reproduction {{Commons cat, Plant reproduction Plants, reproduction Horticultural techniques Reproduction, .Plant ...
Seeds