as you sow, so you reap proverbial saying, late 15th century; originally with biblical allusion to Galatians 6:7, ‘whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap’, and meaning that you will have to endure the consequences of your actions.
sow dry and set wet proverbial saying for gardeners, mid 17th century, meaning that seeds should be sown in dry ground and then given water; the idea that seeds sown in wet ground will not prosper is expressed in Thomas Tusser's Husbandry (revised edition, 1580), as ‘By sowing in wet, Is little to get.’
sow one's wild oats go through a period of wild or promiscuous behaviour while young, late 16th century; wild oat, a wild grass related to the cultivated oat which was traditionally a weed of cornfields, is recorded from the mid 16th to the early 17th century as a name for a dissolute young man.
they that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind proverbial saying, late 16th century; originally with biblical allusion to Hosea 8:7, ‘For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind,’ and meaning that those who have initiated a dangerous course must suffer the consequences.
See also sow dragon's teeth, you reap what you sow.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.