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Vegetable Planting and Raising Seedlings

Methods of Vegetable Planting

Vegetable planting and raising seedlings are important aspects of farming that require careful planning, preparation, and attention to detail. The process of raising seedlings involves starting seeds indoors or in a greenhouse, and nurturing them until they are strong enough to be transplanted.

Here are some general steps to follow when planting and raising vegetable seedlings:

  1. Choose the right seeds: Select seeds that are well-suited to your region and growing conditions. Some plants require specific temperatures, soil types, and light conditions to grow successfully.
  2. Prepare the soil: Prepare the soil by adding compost or other organic matter to improve soil fertility and drainage. Ensure that the soil is well-draining and has the proper pH level for the type of plants you are growing.
  3. Start seeds indoors: If you are starting seeds indoors, use sterile seed-starting mix and containers with good drainage. Follow the package instructions for planting depth and spacing.
  4. Provide proper light and temperature: Seedlings require sufficient light and warmth to grow strong and healthy. Provide at least 12-16 hours of light per day using fluorescent grow lights, and maintain a temperature of around 65-75°F (18-24°C).
  5. Water and fertilize: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Use a water-soluble fertilizer to provide essential nutrients.
  6. Harden off seedlings: Before transplanting seedlings into the garden, gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions by exposing them to increasing amounts of sunlight and wind over a period of several days.
  7. Transplant seedlings: Once the seedlings have hardened off, transplant them into the garden in the evening or on a cloudy day to reduce transplant shock. Water well and provide a layer of mulch to help retain moisture.

1.  Direct Sowing

Direct sowing is a method of planting seeds directly into the soil where they will grow to maturity, without the need for starting them indoors or in a greenhouse. This method is commonly used for plants that do not transplant well or have a short growing season.

Direct sowing requires preparation of the soil by removing debris, breaking up clumps, and creating a level surface. The seeds are then planted directly into the soil at the appropriate depth and spacing for the specific plant variety.

It is important to select the right time to direct sow, taking into account the plant's requirements for soil temperature, sunlight, and water. For example, some plants require warmer soil temperatures to germinate, while others prefer cooler soil conditions.

Advantages of Direct Sowing:

  • Simplicity: Direct sowing is a simple and straightforward method of planting that requires minimal equipment and preparation.
  • Cost-effective: Direct sowing eliminates the need for expensive equipment and materials required for starting seeds indoors, making it a cost-effective option for home gardeners.
  • Natural soil adaptation: Direct sowing allows plants to develop their root systems naturally, adapting to local soil and environmental conditions.
  • Flexibility: Direct sowing can be used for a wide variety of plant species, including vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
  • Seasonal flexibility: Direct sowing allows gardeners to take advantage of seasonal weather patterns and plant growth cycles, making it possible to grow different plants throughout the year.

Disadvantages of Direct Sowing:

  • Risk of failure: Direct sowing can be more unpredictable than starting seeds indoors, as it is subject to weather conditions and other factors that may affect seed germination and growth.
  • Thinning required: Direct sowing often requires thinning out of seedlings to ensure proper spacing, which can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  • Limited control: Direct sowing offers limited control over the growth and development of plants, which can result in weaker or less productive plants.
  • Pest and disease risks: Direct sowing can increase the risk of pests and diseases attacking seedlings, as they are more exposed to the natural environment.


  • Many seeds
  • Re-seeding
  • Thinning
  • Weeding
  • Watering
  • Spraying
  • Fertilization
  • Not uniform growth

Vegetables for direct sowing

2. Transplanting (Raising Seedlings)

Transplanting is the process of moving seedlings from their original location, such as seed trays or pots, into a larger container or the ground where they will grow to maturity. This is often done after the seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves and are sturdy enough to survive the transplant process.

Transplanting seedlings allows farmers to start their plants indoors or in a greenhouse, providing them with a controlled environment that can help ensure successful germination and early growth. Once the seedlings have reached a certain size, they can be transplanted, allowing them to continue growing in a more natural environment.

Transplanting seedlings requires careful handling to minimize damage to the plant's roots and other delicate parts. The process typically involves gently removing the seedlings from their original container, carefully separating the roots, and placing them in a hole in the soil or larger container.

Advantages of Transplanting Seedlings:

  • Extended growing season: Transplanting seedlings allows farmers to start plants earlier in the season, providing more time for growth and ultimately a larger harvest.
  • Greater control: Starting seedlings indoors or in a greenhouse allows for greater control over growing conditions such as soil quality, moisture levels, and light exposure.
  • Uniformity: Transplanting seedlings ensures that plants are spaced evenly and have adequate room to grow, which can lead to healthier and more productive plants.
  • Better root development: When transplanted, seedlings are given more space to develop a stronger root system, which can lead to improved nutrient uptake and healthier plants.

Disadvantages of Transplanting Seedlings:

  • Labor-intensive: Transplanting seedlings can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, requiring careful attention and frequent watering and fertilizing.
  • Risk of transplant shock: Transplanting can cause stress to the plant, leading to transplant shock, which can result in stunted growth or even death of the plant.
  • Equipment costs: Transplanting seedlings may require additional equipment such as containers, grow lights, and heat mats, which can increase the cost of starting plants.
  • Risk of disease: When starting seedlings indoors, there is a risk of disease spread in a small space, which can impact the health of seedlings and future plants.


  • Less seeds
  • Easy management (watering, pests control, weeding, fertilization)
  • Uniform plant
  • Field utilization

Vegetable types for transplanting

  • Tomato (Kamatis)                 
  • Eggplant (Talong)
  • Finger pepper (Siling Pang-sigang)  
  • Bell pepper
  • Pechay                  
  • Cabbage (Repolyo)
  • Cauliflower            
  • Broccoli

Common Problems in Raising Seedlings

1. Elongation caused by the following:

  • Shortage of sunlight
  • High N contents of the soil
  • High soil moisture

2. Non-germination caused by the following:

  • Immature seeds
  • Attacked by insect pests or diseases
  • Too dry or too wet bed soil
  • Too hot weather
  • Unsuitable bed soil

Benefits of Raising Seedlings

  • Small and young seedlings can be raised in large quantity
  • Damages from insects, diseases, heavy rain, drought and high or low temperature are avoided
  • Labor savings from thinning, weed and pest control, and watering
  • Field utilization is maximized
  • Uniform growth can be obtained
  • Amount of seeds can be reduced
  • Good quality seedlings can be obtained
  • Direct Sowing and Transplanting

Methods of Raising Seedlings for Transplanting

1. Raising seedlings in bed

  1. Make sowing ditch 6-9 cm apart
  2. Sow seeds in the ditch
  3. Cover the seeds with soil
  4. Put rice straw on the bed to keep the soil moist
  5. Remove rice straw immediately after germination

2. Raising seedlings in tray

W: 30-40cm
L: 40-50cm
H:   6-10cm

3. Raising seedlings in pot

  1. Soak seeds overnight in clean water
  2. Spread seeds on wet cloth; roll and keep it for a few days
  3. Transfer germinated seeds to the pots

Kinds of pots

  • Polyethylene pot
  • Earthen pot
  • Banana leaf pot
  • Newspaper pot
  • Plastic bag

4. Raising seedlings  in plug tray (cell tray)

  1. Mix the materials of the planting medium (Compost : Carbonized rice hull : PCM = 1: 2 : 0.5 )
  2. Put the medium in the trays
  3. Make a hole on the medium in every cell
  4. Plant one seed in each hole
  5. Cover holes with medium
  6. Apply pesticide. Magnum 5 EC: ants Dithane M-45: damping off
  7. Apply water


  • Minimize planting shock
  • Saving on seeds
  • Seedlings can be easily transplanted to the field
  • Easy management


  • Soil in the pot dries up easily
  • Poor root development after setting if the seedlings are kept too long in the pot
  • Expensive (P70/tray)

Guidelines in Raising Seedlings

1. Wet season - Protect the seedlings from the rain by doing any of the following:

2)   Dry season -        Protect the seedlings from strong sunshine by doing the following:

Note: Enough air and sunlight can still come in through the sides  of the nursery

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