Broadcast sowing – a quick technique for large surfaces and growing beds

Broadcast sowing, seeds in hand with dark complexion.

Broadcast sowing mostly relates to outdoor lawns. It also is the way to start practically all covered sowing.

Outdoor plants can occasionally be sown in growing beds in this manner, as can certain annuals, but it is rather rare.

Outdoors, on small surfaces, gardeners prefer using row-sowing or seed hole-sowing, especially for vegetables.

Technique for broadcast sowing

Broadcast sowing in the garden

Pour the seeds into a bowl for easy grasping.

Grasp a handful of seeds. Spread the seeds along the ground in a regular, even manner, casting the seeds out with a wide sweep of your arm.

Verify that the entire surface is covered.

It helps to first stroll along one direction back and forth, and then to have a second pass at a right angle to the first one. Seeds spread out more evenly that way.

Broad cast sowing in trays

When you’re sowing in trays, to start seeds in spring for instance, you can use broadcast sowing to spread the seeds across the tray.

  • However, in this case, you don’t use your whole arm to spread the seeds.
  • Instead, you simply sweep your wrist back and forth as you drop seeds from the palm of your hand.

Outdoors, damping off isn’t often a problem, but in trays its very common. Best prevent it with a little charcoal.

Smart tip about broadcast sowing

If it seems difficult to get the right gesture, some stores sell seeders that can spread the seeds for you!

Seeds of different types of flowers sown with broadcast sowing.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Handful of seeds by Ivan Horvat under Pixabay license
Mix of seeds on the ground by Hans Braxmeier under Pixabay license