I’d like to say that I am an excellent backyard gardener. I’d like to say that, but it wouldn’t be true. Sometimes the stuff I plant grows, and sometimes it doesn’t. One of the problems I’ve always had – because my soil is very claylike – is simply getting the seeds to sprout. The poor things find themselves under a big clod of clay and can’t make it through the soil.
This year, though, I may have stumbled onto an answer to my inherent lack of “sowing” ability.
I had saved the okra seed planting till last, reserving a bed at the lower end of my garden. We love fried okra and our son Jimmie enjoys Nancy’s pickled okra. But past okra crops have been sporadic in sprouting. I have often had to transplant small sprouts to fill in the gaps.
But what if I furrowed shallow rows, sowed the seeds at regular intervals and then covered them with a half-inch of fine, moist garden soil? Maybe that would help.
Did it ever! My okra came up within 5 days and seemingly every seed sprouted. Now I will have to thin the seedlings to about every 15-18-inches to prevent overcrowding.
From now on, I’m going to always keep a bag or two of garden soil on hand when it comes time to plant. I see this as being very beneficial in planting things like lettuce, beets, carrots, squash, cukes and – well – most anything. I think I am on to something.
Probably every other backyard gardener in the world has learned this trick, but sometimes it takes some of us a little longer to learn than others.