Factors affecting seedling vigor include soil temperature and moisture, planting depth and accuracy, fertilizer placement and pest control.
Prairie soils often reach 5 to 10°C in early May. Many consider this the minimum planting temperature for oilseeds, such as canola or flax. Cereal and pulse crops can be planted in somewhat cooler soils, but will emerge faster in warmer soils. Warm soils are more able to breakdown nutrients into plant available forms and there is increased activity of beneficial organisms.
Planting Depth and Accuracy
Planting depth is dependent on the crop being grown. You should plant shallow to ensure quick emergence, but deep enough to ensure access to soil moisture. Small seeds should be planted as shallow as possible to ensure good soil contact. Seeds should be placed at a uniform depth to ensure uniform emergence from the soil. There should also be a firmly packed, consistent depth of soil on top of the seeds.