Sowing Rupturewort Directly
Answered by: Richters Staff
Question from: Tina B Shannon
Posted on: July 30, 2006

Is it possible to sow rupturewort (Herniaria glabra) directly into the ground? I just built a slate path and have bare ground.

Rupturewort seeds are very small: there are about 30,000 seeds per gram or 850,000 seeds per ounce. It is possible to sow such small seeds directly to the ground, but great care is necessary not to cover the seeds too much. First the area must be raked clean of all debris, weeds and stones so the soil is worked into fine surface. Then water the soil prior to sowing. Then divide the seeds into two equaly batches: one to be sown using an east-west motion and the other batch sown in a north-south motion (in order to evenly distribute the seeds over the area). Then simply firm the surface down (without adding any additional soil cover) using a flat object such as a smooth board. Then water lightly until the surface glistens. This process will cause most of the seeds to be buried just enough to allow germination to occur. Because the seeds are so close to the surface it is critical that the site does not dry out during the germination and seedling establishment phases. You may wish to provide a temporary sheet of a white sheet over the area if conditions are hot and dry. Check watering frequently during the day during this germination and establishment phase.

Because of the sensitivity of the tiny seeds to drying conditions it is always better to sow in seed flats and then transplant to the garden when the seedlings are well established. But direct sowing can be done if you are dedicated enough to see that the conditions are evenly moist (but not waterlogged) throughout early phases.

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