31 JANUARY 1941, Page 11

In the Garden

Perhaps the commonest mistake among gardeners is wastage of seeds during sowing. There are several ways of making seed go further. With onions and leeks, for example, the sowing of seed in boxes, and afterwards the transplanting of the young plant, will ensure that practically every seed sown will mature. Thick-sown onions and carrots are extremely wasteful. Two tips for sowing outdoors: first, never sow from the packet unless your hand is really steady. Empty the seeds into a saucer and SOW snuff-fashion, pinch by pinch, the thinner the better; second, draw fairly shallow drills and leave them open for several hours before sowing. This should dry top-soil, and, if the day is sunny, warm the drill. When covering the seed try dispensing With the rake, and using the shuffle technique; i.e., walk along each row, feet apart, and shuffle the soil into the drill. This will distribute the soil very lightly, and, if correctly done, will throw the warmest, driest soil directly on to the seeds. Finally, look up the catalogue and get expert guidance on how far the seed should go. One ounce of turnips, for example, should sow a 200 ft. row. How often does it? H. E. BATES. '