Gardening Articles


The seed-bed, as it is called, is the surface prepared to receive the seed, whether for a patch of radishes or an acre of onions. For crops to be sown directly where they are to go, the chapter on Preparation of the Soil

takes us to this point, and as stated at the conclusion of that chapter, the final preparation of the bed should be made only immediately prior to its use. Having, then, good seeds on hand and the soil properly prepared to receive them, the only problem remaining is what way they shall be put in. The different habits of growth characteristic of different plants make it patent at the outset that there must be different methods of planting, for very evidently a cabbage, which occupies but three or four square feet of space and stays in one place to make a head, will not require the same treatment as a winter squash, roaming all over the garden and then escaping under the fence to hide some of its best fruit in the tall grass outside. The three systems of planting usually employed are known as "drills," "rows" and "hills." I do not remember ever seeing a definition giving the exact distinctions between them; and in horticultural writing they seem to be used, to some extent at least, interchangeably. As a rule "drills" refer to the growing of plants continuously in rows, such as onions, carrots or spinach. "Rows" refer to the growing of plants at fixed distances apart in the rows such as cabbage, or potatoes--the cultivation, except hand weeding and hoeing, being all done in one direction, as with drills. "Hills" refer to the growing of plants usually at equal distances, four feet or more apart each way, with cultivating done in both directions, as with melons and squashes. I describe the different methods at length so that the reader may know more definitely just what is meant by the special instructions given in the following text.


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