Fig. 5-2. Firm seedbeds are obtained by rolling with (A) corrugated rollers or (B) with smooth rollers.
Moisture availability must be adequate but not excessive for seed germination and seedling establishment. Moisture content of the top 20 to 30 cm of soil should be high at the time of seeding (not exceeding field capacity), but dry enough to permit a tractor and drill to pass with ease. A prepared seedbed should be well firmed with rollers after seeding (Fig. 5-2), thus ensuring the elimination of air pockets and the availability of water for rapid, even seed germination and root extension into moist soil. However, seedbeds should be friable and not compacted before seeding. There should be high probability of adequate soil moisture for plant growth for 3 to 6 mo after seeding.