This operation is performed either in the Broad-cast method, or by Drilling : but, having already stated the respective advantages attending both, we refer the reader to vol. i. pp. 359-60, and vol. ii pp. 166-82.
The most important objects in sowing are; 1. To commit the seed to the ground, at as early a period of the season as the nature of the grain, and the situation of the soil, will admit; and, 2. To place every seed at a proper depth, and distance from each other. Due regard to the former circumstance will be attended with great profit, particularly in the cultivation of turnips ; as an early harvest will not only thus be obtained ; but the roots will also be protected from the depredations of the fly.
Some agriculturists strongly recommend to " sow dry, and set wet " but, where the soil has been newly turned by the spade, Dr. Darwin justly remarks, that no bad consequence can result from sowing, in general, during rainy weather: such method, however, ought to be adopted with caution on clay-soils (seeCLAY-LAND) that are much softened by long-continued rain ; because, if the seed be put into holes, and a dry season follow, the water will necessarily evaporate, and an impenetrable crust will be formed on the surface, by the selling, or running together, of the clay. But this accident may, in some measure, be prevented, by sowing in the autumnal months, during moist weather. - See also Seed.