#4: Summer Crops You Should Directly Sow by Seed


Directly sowing seeds is often thought of as an advanced gardening strategy. But it’s really the opposite. It is such a simple gardening strategy that will give you so much more success in your garden this year. 

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Summer Crops You Should Direct Sow by Seed

In today’s show, I’m going to cover five common summer crops that will grow better if you directly sow them by seed. They’re often common crops that you’re going to find at your local garden center or nursery. But that doesn’t mean that you should transplant them. 

Just because you see them as a transplant at your garden center doesn’t always mean you should transplant them, they’re going to grow a lot better for you if you directly sow them by seed. 

These crops include,

  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Melons
  • Squash

I know as a gardener, it can be difficult to see these young healthy seedlings and not purchase them. It likely makes you feel like you’re getting a head start on the season.

But these crops don’t like their roots disturbed. So even though technically “they can be” transplanted, they shouldn’t always be. 

If you live in a climate with a long growing season these crops are going to grow much healthier if you directly sow them by seed out in the garden.

Seed Sowing Tips for Summer Crops

In general, most summer crops need a soil temperature of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate. So wait until all danger of frost has passed, nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50° F, and when soil temperatures are 70-80° and then it’s time to plant. 

Make sure your soil is well worked up. You want it to be nice and fluffy so that there’s no obstructions when the seedlings are emerging through the soil. 

Water the garden bed thoroughly before planting so the soil is moist, and then sow your seeds.

In general, you plant your seeds twice the depth of the size of the seed. But just always refer to the back of the seed packet because it’s always going to tell you how deep to plant that seed variety. 

Then gently water your garden bed after planting and be careful to not spray the seeds out of place. 

Then continue to keep the soil moist until germination occurs. Most crops should germinate in 7-14 days. If you don’t see germination within that time frame and the soil is warm enough and you’ve been keeping the soil moist it could be that your seeds are not viable. 

You can try planting one more time or purchase new seeds and try again. But remember that when you live in a climate with a long growing season there isn’t just one planting date for warm-season crops.

There is a first planting date after all danger of frost has passed, but then we can continue succession planting all throughout spring, early summer, and even late summer for many warm season crops.

My favorite seed companies include,

I hope you’re encouraged to experiment with direct sowing your seeds this season. It’s a simple process, it’s cheaper, and many of your crops should grow much healthier!

Join the Zone 9 Garden Club

Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is reach out to other gardeners for help. I would love for you to join the Zone 9 Garden Club!

As a member you get,

  • Monthly video garden tours and trainings
  • Monthly growing calendars for zone 9
  • Timely harvesting & planting tips
  • Access to an active community off of social media
  • A resource library full of gardening courses and guides
  • And more!

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Podcast Episode Resources and Links Mentioned

5 Summer Crops You Should Directly Sow by Seed
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