Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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Hi, I’m Ed Brosky, we’re talking about how you can start your own vegetable garden. And right now, we’re going to talk a little bit about planting seeds outside directly in the soil. What you see me doing here is, I have a parsley plant and a cilantro plant that are both going to seed. They were planted last year. Parsley is by any, meaning it has a two year cycle. It still has a good leaves on it but this time a year all it wants to do is get big and make seeds.
So, we’re going to get it out of the way. Find the home for it in our compost heat as well as the cilantro plant but as soon as they’re growing, I want to plant something new. I practiced something its called succession planting which means, one plant is done. We come right behind it and plant something else. We usually do that three times a year. So we’ll have three crops each year and we rotate things so they were not planting, always planting the same thing in one spot.
To get this bed right ready to plant, I would get at any weeds or any plants out here that I can just to make sure that they’re not going to come back and hunt us. There are always weed seeds around either in the soil or coming through the air deposited by animals and birds and things. So you always going to have some weeds and when you’re just planting seeds in the soil, those tiny little plants coming up then are competing for weeds and it’s very hard to get rid of the weeds without doing damage to your new little plants.
So, that’s something we can contend with, sometimes you’ll see me out here weeding with the dinner fork but don’t tell my wife.
Okay the next step after I’ve got and rid of any weeds in here or any plant material, as I sprinkle on, about a half an inch, just a thin a layer of compost and work that into the soil, that’s to add some fertility that may even taken up by the previous plants, give them microbes in the soil. Something fresh to mention and I do that each time my plan to crops so the soil is getting three applications of compost during the course of the season and I’ll work this in with my stir-up hoe. This is one of the things I use my stir-up hoe for a lot and that is to rake this bed smooth and incorporate the compost that I’ve just added to the soil adopt of two inches or so, not terribly deep. Now, this next step is just to go down 10 or 12 inches and just give us slight heave with the fork speed to get some, make sure there’s some air down there and a little looseness from its draining well. Not turn it, not over turn that hole ecosystem down there all those micros but just gently loosen it up a little bit.
My final step for preparing this little bed that I’m working on is to just go over it lightly with my hand, smooth it out, even it out a little bit and break up any of the big clods that I might find in here. Sometimes, I find a little stones and if I’m paying attention I’ll have a bucket handy so I can get the stones in the bucket and take him to my rock pile which is gotten pretty bit by now. After you work a bed for a few years, it’ll become so soft that you won’t even see clods like this anymore but when I do find them, I like to break them up because that give us seeds, a much better chance of putting down roots if they’re not competing with big clods of dirt.
Now, I’m going to mark my little section of the garden bed and as you can see I’m not doing anything very fancy at all. I’m just using this old bamboo sticks in my eyeballs here to mark out too relatively equal sections. One is going to be for Arugula and one is going to be for Dill. If the sun is—most of the sun is coming from this direction here, so the Arugula which is shorter, you want to put it in front of the dill which is taller so Arugula isn’t shaded by the Dill. I have my seed pockets here and there is always important information on the seed pockets for instance, how the plants grow, how much sun they need whether they like shade or how far apart to space them. Now the spacing for Arugula isn’t that important or for Dill. Importantly what is says on here is that Arugula and Dill both kind of like a little bit a shade which is a good thing because were right up back up against the house here on the north side so, round about noontime, the sun will be disappearing from that part of the garden. But interestingly enough at the very peak summer when the sun is the highest in the sky, this area will actually beginning a blast of sun in the late afternoon from this area.
So, it’s kind of an interesting peak Arugula and Dill on the spot but I think they’ll do very well here. So, what I’ll do is, open the Arugula first. Okay, the broadcast to see the first pour some into the palm of my hand like this. Okay, so I’ve got them in my hand. Just before I sprinkle the seeds over the ground, I’m just going to wrap up the ground a little bit where I’ve already made it so nice and smooth using these hand cultivators, its kind of a clod. Then, I simply sprinkle the sun here like as if I were seasoning the soil with this seeds.
Now I take, just take the palm of my hand and sort of stir it lightly were I’ve sown the seeds some people like to pour more soil over the top or scatter more soil on top but I feel as usually does the trick. The seeds are so small they don’t need to be planted to great depth. The general rule is as you plant seeds about three times the depth to the width to the seed. So for a tiny little seed like we just planted it’s hardy any depth at all.
It could it might much a deeper hole for something like a big lima bean seed that might go down an inch and half or two inches. Now were going to turn to our deal here which is the same process as before. when your at -- thinking about the things you want to plant into your garden know what they’re going to do eventually sometimes they spread out they send runners far distance as they grow up really tall.
You want to know those things so they don’t interfere with your other gardening plants. Now that we got that plant and what we’ll do is use our watering can or our watering wand and water those in, next were going to talked about how to transplant those seedlings that you started inside out into your garden outside.