The steps to properly preparing a seedbed will make more sense when you understand the overall needs for seed germination. A key to plant growth rests in the concept that there must be good seed to soil contact. Good seed to soil contact helps the seed to utilize the moisture in the soil and later the emerging plant can utilize the nutrients in the soil. This concept usually assumes that a firm seedbed will be helpful. It may necessitate a more finely pulverized soil for smaller seeds. There are many seemingly small ways that seed to soil contact can be enhanced.

The characteristics of a good seedbed are: uniformly firm soil to depth of 5 inches (12.7 centimeters), adequate soil moisture, and weed free. Each of these characteristics help the seed to have the best chance to germinate and flourish. A seedbed that is weed free allows the desired crop to grow without the fierce competition for nutrients, space, and sunlight. Adequate soil moisture triggers the enzymatic changes needed to grow. The seedbed needs to be firm because that indicates that moisture down in the soil can be brought up for seed germination. Fluffy soil at the surface usually means too much air is trapped in the soil and that will dry out the conditions and seeds will not germinate.

The steps to obtaining a good seedbed include plowing the soil to 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) in depth. Using a disk to carve through the soil is especially beneficial when the disk is run through the soil twice, with the second trip cutting perpendicularly to the first cut. So if the soil is plowed north to south, then the second disking would be east to west, more thoroughly disturbing the soil. When plowing, weed seeds are brought closer to the surface and with closer contact with the sunlight and soil moisture they will germinate soon thereafter. So often, after disking or plowing, a producer will allow the weed seeds to germinate and use herbicides to eradicate them. Then the soil is disked again to turn under the dead plant material to promote seed to soil contact