METHODS OF PLANTING
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
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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