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The sower , depiction from the Hortus Deliciarum by Herrad von Landsberg (12th century)

As a seed (also sowing or seeding ) refers to the seeding (also sowing or seeding, medium high German saejen "scatter pour, scatter, sow") of seed in the seed bed or seed-bed, but also "the seeded" and "consisting of which rose to the seed ”.


Rising sugar beet seeds on black earth soil

A distinction is made between different sowing methods in agriculture , for example broad sowing, drill sowing and single-grain sowing.

  • Broad sowing has been the method of sowing used since ancient times . By the number grains in hand per litter, the litter width and the stride length of the sower, the seed quantity per unit area is obtained. Broad sowing is an imprecise method. Today, sowing in arable, horticultural and landscaping is usually done by machine in parallel rows with even distances between the rows (row spacing) and within the rows, as well as with an even placement depth.
  • When drilling , the grains are placed in rows by means of a seed drill - this process is mainly used for grain . Small coulters create a channel in the seedbed; The seeds are introduced through a pipe.
  • The precision drilling is used for crops such as sugar beet and corn used in which a uniform plant spacing is aimed at. The precision air seeder places the seeds with centimeter precision with pneumatic or mechanical control, even within the rows with the same spacing.
  • The band sowing is mainly used in vegetable growing but also in the renewal of grassland. The seeds are placed in the same row widths, within a certain bandwidth but at irregular intervals between the grains.

The spreading of seeds with the help of special agricultural technology such as seed drills and single-grain devices became widespread from 1930. In practical agriculture in the 21st century, the combination of seeds is predominant: Several operations - seedbed preparation , seed placement, harrowing, rolling - are done by machine at the same time.

In the case of smaller row spacings (e.g. in cereal cultivation), individual rows are already left out during sowing in conventional cultivation, so that bare tramlines remain in the later crop. These lanes can be used to drive the tractor through the field during maintenance work and when applying fertilizers and pesticides without damaging the crops .


Soil and light

The general rule of thumb when sowing is that three times the longest seed diameter is the correct sowing depth. In addition, however, the typical plant physiology must be taken into account; in particular, dormancy must be overcome. The germination of the seeds requires moisture and a minimum soil temperature that varies depending on the type of plant.

There are also requirements for the lighting conditions. For example, wheat is a “dark germ”, so the seeds must be well covered with soil. In contrast, rye is a light germ . As early as the 19th century , the farmer's saying was: "Rye seed wants to see the sky". Even back then, young farmers were encouraged to sow the rye when the moon was waxing, although the moonlight at night with a clear sky makes up less than three hundred thousandths of daylight.

Choice of sowing time

The optimal sowing time is initially determined by the type of plant and is nevertheless very different from region to region. Plants react very differently to the duration of sunshine and temperature . In summer, the length of the day (sunrise to sunset) in Schleswig-Holstein is one hour longer than in Baden-Württemberg and the average temperature is 5–10 ° C lower. The amount of rain also varies greatly from region to region. All of these factors have a direct influence on the choice of crop rotation , choice of varieties and crop production .


In order to allow the seeds to germinate, the soil must be prepared accordingly. By cultivating the soil , an even and finely crumbly seedbed is created to enable the seeds to be deposited evenly and to create a good location for the later plants. In addition, this ensures the heat conduction of solar radiation and the flow of water - both are necessary for germination .


The season of sowing is crucial for plant growth. The Photoperiodism affected duration and course of vegetative and reproductive phase of plants.

In the short day (less than 12 hours of sun) "long-day plants" are induced to grow vegetatively. In the long day (more than 12 hours of sun) the generative phase of the long-day plants is initiated. It comes to flowering and seed formation. In the garden the lettuce “shoots” , in the field the grain begins with “ear pushing”, in the meadows most of the grasses bloom.

If you sow long-day plants such as rapeseed or mustard in the short day after August 20, they will develop a lot of green in autumn, but no more flowers. This trick is in agriculture for many decades for the autumn fodder and green manure applied.


Winter sowing in October (Mecklenburg)

Winter cereals are sown from September to October . It takes frost vernalization to shoot in spring .


Snow seeding is an old birch seeding method . The seeds are planted on the snow in winter. A tillage is not necessary here.


The month of March is the sowing time for summer cereals . In April beets , corn and the outdoor sowing of many types of vegetables or herbs such as peas , radishes , radishes , beans , lettuce , spinach , parsley , dill and many more follow . Since the soil temperature in the field is insufficient for certain types of plants to germinate, these are not sown in the field , but rather grown in the greenhouse ( tomatoes , cucumbers , zucchini and peppers ) and then planted in the field.

Coin motif

A sower is the motif on the obverse of two coins:

  • The Chervonetz (German Red Coin) made of red gold, without a face value (10 rubles) minted in 1923, 1925 and minted from 1975 to 1982 in Russia.
  • The Austrian 1 Schilling coin made of aluminum, minted from 1946 to 1957.

See also


  • Hartig, M. & Chr. Lemke: Birken-Schneesaat , AFZ-DerWald 57, Issue 4/2002, pp. 170-173
  • Klapp, Ernst : Textbook of arable and plant cultivation , Paul Parey publishing house, Berlin and Hamburg 1958
  • Martin, Wilhelm: Handbook of Agriculture , Verlag Eugen Ulmer Stuttgart 1895

Web links

Wiktionary: Saat  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: sowing  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikiquote: Saat  - Quotes

Individual evidence

  1. Tscherwonetz gold coins buy, accessed March 27, 2017
  2. Austria> 1945 ~ 2001 - 2nd Republic (Schilling) - Circulation coins, accessed March 27, 2017.