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.

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