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Plants started from seed often require the most patience and practice to grow properly. That’s why it is so important to prepare the holes at the correct depth for your seeds.

The general rule of thumb dictates that garden holes should be at least twice the depth of the diameter of the seeds.

hand of a person planting seeds on the ground
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

When planted at the correct depth, seeds typically take between a few days and a few weeks to sprout (species vary greatly).

But, when you plant seeds at the wrong depth, things don’t always go as smoothly.

If I make my garden holes too deep for seeds, will it take longer for them to come through the dirt? Seeds planted too deep take longer to come through the dirt if they end up growing up and out of the soil at all. Plants grown from seeds that are planted too deep often come up slower and rarely thrive. That means if you plant your seeds, your plants won’t produce nearly as much as they would if they’d been planted at the correct depth.

Remember to always check your seed packs for planting instructions, including the proper depth for planting.

Commonly Asked Questions About Seed Depths and Sprouting Times

When are holes too deep for seeds?

Most seeds require a depth of around two times the size of the seeds themselves, making the correct depth range from seed species to seed species. That said, if you are planting standard-size seeds, 1 to 2 inches is usually much too deep. More than a few centimeters is too deep for most seeds.

What kind of seeds need to be planted deep?

There are very few seeds, if any, that need to be planted genuinely deeply. Plants need moisture and sunlight to grow, which is not always available at deeper depths. That’s why seeds shouldn’t be planted more than 2 t o3 times deeper than they measure in width.

Do seeds planted too deeply still grow?

Many times seeds that are planted a bit too deeply do still grow. However, seeds that are planted an inch or deeper than necessary tend to develop into weak and stringy plants. Some seeds planted too deep don’t grow at all.

Suggested Reading: How to Get Started With Outdoor Gardening

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