sow the seed of

sow the seeds of (something)

1. To do something that ensures a certain outcome in the future, especially an unfortunate or tragic one. They've been sowing the seeds of their own downfall with their anti-consumer practices over the last few years.
2. To cause someone to have certain thoughts or feelings, usually negative ones. The over-zealous policing of opposing opinions has sown the seeds of discontent among the population.
See also: of, seed, sow

sow the seed (or seeds) of

do something which will eventually bring about a particular result.
1991 Philip Slater A Dream Deferred Each authoritarian government, groping toward modernization, would thereby sow the seeds of its own destruction.
See also: of, seed, sow
References in periodicals archive ?
PREPARATIONS for summer need to be started now, so it's time to sow the seed of tender annuals.
Instead you can sow the seed of compassion, understanding, and insight in them.