Sowing or seeding is an art of placing seeds in the soil to have good germination in the field. A perfect seeding gives correct amount of seed per unit area, correct depth at which seed is placed in the soil and correct spacing between row-to-row and plant to plant.
Methods of sowing
There are different methods of sowing such as Broadcasting, Dibbling, Drilling, Seed dropping behind the plough, Transplanting, Hill dropping and Check row planting.
Broadcasting is the process of random scattering of seed on the surface of seedbeds. It can be done manually or mechanically both. When broadcasting is done manually, uniformity of seed depends upon skill of the man. Soon after broadcasting the seeds are covered by planking or some other devices. Usually higher seed rate is obtained in this system. Mechanical broadcasters are used for large-scale work. This machine scatters the seeds on the surface of the seedbed at controlled rates.
Dibbling is the process of placing seeds in holes made in seedbed and covering them. In this method, seeds are placed in holes made at definite depth at fixed spacing. The equipment used for dibbling is called dibbler. It is a conical instrument used to make proper holes in the field. Small hand dibblers are made with several conical projections made in a frame. This is very time consuming process, so it is not suitable for small seeds. Mostly vegetables are sown in this way.
Drilling consists of dropping the seeds in furrow lines in a continuous flow and covering them with soil. Seed metering may be done either manually or mechanically. The number of rows planted may be one or more. This method is very helpful in achieving proper depth, proper spacing and proper amount of seed to be sown in the field.
Drilling can be done by
(1) Sowing behind the plough
(2) Bullock drawn seed drills
(3) Tractor drawn seed drills.
iv) Seed dropping behind the plough
It is very common method used in villages. It is used for seed like maize, gram, peas, wheat and barley. A man drops seeds in the furrow behind the plough.
Sowing behind the plough can be done by a device known as malobansa. It consists of a bamboo tube provided with a funnel shaped mouth. One man drops the seeds through the funnel and other man handles the plough and the bullocks. This is a slow and laborious method.
Transplanting consists of preparing seedlings in nursery and then planting these seedlings in the prepared field. It is commonly done for vegetable and flowers. It is very time consuming operation. Equipment for placing plants in the soil is called transplanter.
vi) Hill dropping
In this method, seeds are dropped at fixed spacing and not in a continuous stream. Thus the spacing between plant to plant in a row is constant. In case of drills, the seeds are dropped in continuous stream and the spacing between plant to plant in a row is not constant.
vii) Check row planting
It is a method of planting, in which row-to-row and plant-to-plant distance is uniform. In this method, seeds are planted precisely along straight parallel furrows. The rows are always in two perpendicular directions. A machine used for check row planting is called check row planter.