How to Water Garden Seeds


Seeds are the beginning of a good garden, whether you are growing vegetables or ornamental plants. Water is necessary to plants at all stages of growth, but proper watering of garden seeds ensures that you achieve a good germination rate and that the seeds grow into sturdy seedlings. It isn't as simple as just pouring water onto the soil, as that will wash away or bury many seeds too deeply so they won't germinate properly. Most plant seeds do best when started indoors and later moved into the garden when they are strong seedlings.

Step 1

Fill your seed starting pots or trays with a sterile potting mixture. Use containers that have drainage holes in the bottom so excess water so the soil does not become waterlogged.

Step 2

Moisten the potting mix evenly before sowing seeds. Fill a shallow tray with enough water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the planting containers when placed in the water.

Step 3

Set the pots in the tray of water. Leave to soak for four to six hours or until the surface of the soil becomes moist.

Step 4

Sow seeds as directed on the seed package. Sow most seeds to a depth that is twice their width and sow fine seeds directly on the soil surface and cover with a quarter-inch layer of potting mix.

Step 5

Fill a spray bottle with water and adjust the spray nozzle to the mist setting. Mist the surface of the soil with water after sowing the garden seeds. It is better to spend more time misting seeds than to hurry up and drown them with heavy streams of water.

Step 6

Cover the seed starting pots and trays with plastic wrap to preserve soil temperature. Set them in a warm room to germinate.

Step 7

Remove the plastic once seedlings appear and place in a warm and sunny window. Keep the soil moist at all times by either watering from the bottom of the pot or watering from the top with a gentle trickle of water. That prevents the seedling from being washed from the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid getting the leaves wet on seedlings when watering. This leads to diseases such as damping-off, which will kill the young plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Potting soil
  • Tray
  • Plastic wrap
  • Spray bottle


  • University of Minnesota Extension
Keywords: watering garden seeds, seed starting, plant watering method

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.