April 12. Time to plant the early crops. We have had a few days without rain or snow and the ground is dry enough on top to allow planting.
The plot was prepared in the fall. Leaves and manure were put on the plot then it was tilled deeply. All remains of last years plants were tilled in too, including corn stalks. It looks pretty lumpy, but it is very mellow. The action of freezing and thawing has made it mellow.
Once over with the rake breaks up the clods and leaves a good seedbed.
Those little lumps break up easily. The ground is quite wet just under the surface. Too wet to till, so tilling in the fall makes it easy to plant in the spring.
Here is a great helper with the planting. This little maching will plant a good variety of seeds. I use it for peas, beans, corn, beets, and carrots.
For seed not planted with the seeder, I use a hoe to make a furrow then drop in the seed and cover, or just pick up a seed and push it into the ground where it will grow. I like to plant lettuce, cabbage and broccoli like this. I will place 3 or 4 seeds together every foot in the row, then later thin the bunch to one plant.
Now this is important. When the seed is covered, walk on the row to firm the ground. This helps to remove air pockets and preserve moisture. It brings the seed into firm contact with the soil so it will have moisture to germinate. It also helps with wicking moisture up from lower down. Don't worry, this is not going to compact the ground so the seedlings can't come up.