Chicken Wire Seeding Guide

When sowing trays of seeds, you’re usually told to space them about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, but rather than having to get out a ruler and take careful measurements, why not use a piece of chicken wire as a guide?

This widely available wire grid already has a 1-inch (2.5 cm) hexagonal mesh, exactly the spacing you need. You can even fix the grid onto a frame if you plan to use it often.

Why pay for chicken wire? Rummage in your garage or tool shed: you probably already have a roll of chicken wire lying around. Many gardeners do.

Simply cut a section of chicken wire the size of the tray using a pair of wire cutters, then place the wire grid over a tray filled with sowing mix. Punch a hole with a pencil of the appropriate depth (usually three times the height of the seed) in the center of each “cell,” then insert a seed. Continue until the whole tray is done, then remove the grid, add a thin layer of seeding mix to cover the holes and water carefully. 

When your seedlings germinate, they’ll be perfectly spaced apart, giving the result an almost professional appearance.

You can also use your chicken wire grid for sowing seeds outdoors. Photo:

Come summer and your “seeding guide” will be useful for outdoor sowing too.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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