The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Broadcast seeding the fall garden

Carrot seedlingBroadcasting seeds is one of my favorite ways of planting most vegetables (with the exceptions of big vegetables like squash, corn, beans, etc.)  The method is most appropriate for gardens with permanent beds in which you want your vegetables to spread out and cover all of the available space.  To broadcast plant, I simply fill the palm of one hand with as many seeds as I want to put on the bed, separate my fingers, and jiggle my arm until the seeds bounce to the ground.  Once you get the hang of it, you can broadcast seed a bed in less than a minute and end up with well-spaced seedlings.

Garden rakeThe one difficulty with broadcast seeding is that the seeds sit on the soil surface, which means trouble germinating during hot, dry summer days.  (In the spring, I rarely have issues with germination even though I don't cover my seeds.)  But if you rake the top half inch of soil to the sides of the bed, broadcast seed, then carefully pull that excess soil back on top, you can have the best of both worlds --- quick seeding and efficient germination.  I tried out this method a few weeks ago with the first of our fall carrots and was so pleased with the results that I think it will be my new broadcast-seeding standby.

Our chicken waterer keeps our flock from going thirsty on hot summer days.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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