ForestrypediaGeneral Silviculture

Sowing – Methods, Season, Depth, Pros and Cons

Spread the love


There are different methods for sowing. These methods are adopted in different areas according to the condition of their requirement.
Following are some methods of seed sowing.

  1. Broadcasting method
  2. Dibbling method
  3. Strip or line sowing
  4. Patch sowing
  5. Ridge or mound sowing
  6. Pit and trench sowing
  7. Combined methods of sowing

Broad Casting Method:

In this method, a large no of seeds is just broadcasted (thrown in air) either by hands or by some devices.
Broadcasting is also done aerially. It was adopted in Sand, but now it is not done because it is expensive.


– Broadcasting is the easiest method of sowing
It is the cheapest method
– It is quick method or regeneration
– In most cases, there is no need of soil work
– It is suitable in case the seed is small and not possible to be planted in individual polythene bags or pots
– It does not require skilled labor
This method is applicable in Riverine Forests of Sindh where soil and moisture conditions are favorable.


In this method seeds of bigger size are sown at equal spacing in bits with the help of dibbling rods. It is adopted in Walnut sowing. The other advantage in this method is that the seed quantity is ½ of the broadcasting method.

Line Sowing

The seeds are sown in lines or rows as in coniferous forests. The soil is worked up to 1′-2′ depth and seeds are sown in lines. This line sowing is also adopted in for Acacia nilotica in I.Ps.

Strip Sowing

It is the same as line sowing but here seeds are sown in many lines adjacent to each other and also sown in strips and seeds are broadcasted in strips in the worked soil, it is known as strip sowing.

Patch Sowing

In the roughly circular patch of soil, several seeds are sown. Generally, only one plant is wanted in each, so any extra ones are weeded out later or used for transplanting to blank. The difficulty in this method is that the competing weeds growth process on the seedlings from all sides and unless intensive weeding is continued, they are likely to be smothered, and inspection is very difficult. But with quick-growing species, patch sowing may be cheap and effective. For supplementing natural regeneration patches 5 x 2 ft to 5 x 5 ft are recommended for deodar with adjoining patches 6 ft apart smaller patches are very likely to fail.

Ridge and Mound Sowing

The soil is made in straight bund like structure called as ridge and simply a heap of soil is known as the mound. The seeds are sown on ridges and mound in case of dry areas for condensing the moisture in the raised and loosened soil. The advantage of the ridge over the mound is the greater freedom for the seedlings from weeds. There is a risk of soil wash exposing the roots which may be minimized by not making the ridges too narrow and by firming the soil after sowing. See fig

Pitch and Trench Sowing

The method which effectively concerns only the arid regions aims at securing for the young plants as merely moisture as possible. There are practical difficulties which prevent wide application. Unless special precautions are taken the topsoil is lost and an inadequate depth of rootable soil is provided and often the soil surface within the pit in quickly sealed with clay particles and the seedlings drowned or the roots suffocated. See above fig

Combined Methods

In reclamation areas it is now common practice to make a combine ridge and trench and sow the seeds at three levels, on the ridge, on the mound, and in the trench different conditions prevail in each of the three situations depending on the climatic and soil conditions, one or other will probably fail but the overall chances of success are improved.


Seeds should be sown at the time when conditions are suitable. Generally, seeds are sowing in early spring or before the start of Monsoon rains in the country. In areas where snow falls, it is better to sow the seed before snowfall.
In Riverine areas, sowing should be done before flooding or when water falls back.


Small seeds need a very thin cover of soil over them. They are killed if sown deep. Seeds are buried a little deeper. The depth should be appropriate. If the seed is sown deeper it will germinate later.
It is better o sow seed a little deeper in hilly areas where there are greater chances of erosion because in such areas the seeds if sown shallower maybe wipe away with the water.

Advantages of Sowing:

  • It is an easy method and not too much labor is required.
  • It is a cheaper method and there are no expenses of nursery operations.
  • In case of planting, roots are greatly protected (ie roots need to be protected); while in sowing seeds are just thrown.
  • If we want to raise a mixed crop with plants we have to raise many nurseries which is difficult but in case of sowing, it is easy to raise mixed crop by combine sowing method. Eg ridge and trench method.

Disadvantages of Sowing:

  • It is not sure that all the seeds germinate or not. In addition, some seeds are damaged by birds, insects, rainfall or exposure to sunlight during broadcasting.
  • The fungus may attack the seed during early stages of growth.
  • Once seed becomes activated and after activation, if conditions become unfavorable then all the seeds will die.

If proper water and moisture conditions are not provided to seed then all stored food material will be of no use.
Image: Results of Broadcasting (Sowing) at Hingol National Park Balochistan | August 28, 2014 | Image by Author

For correction and improvements please use the comments section below.

Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani is working as Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu ( Forestrypedia (, All Pak Notifications (, Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »