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Handmade Footprints

Sometimes I sow large brassicas and cucurbits in clumps above a fertilized, double-dug spot. First, in a space about 18 inches square, I deeply dig in complete organic fertilizer. Then with my fist I punch down a depression in the center of the fluffed-up mound. Sometimes my fist goes in so easily that I have to replace a little more soil and punch it down some more. The purpose is not to make rammed earth or cement, but only to reestablish capillarity by having firm soil under a shallow, fist-sized depression. Then a pinch of seed is sprinkled atop this depression and covered with fine earth. Even if several hot sunny days follow I get good germination without watering. This same technique works excellently on hills of squash, melon and cucumber as well, though these large-seeded species must be planted quite a bit deeper.

Next: Summer: How to Fluid Drill Seeds

Previous: Later in Spring: Sprouting Seeds Without Watering

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