Planting outside

Planting lettuce ©Janet Allen
Planting lettuce seeds

Here, John is planting lettuce seeds by dropping them into a furrow he created.

Planting board ©Janet Allen
Planting board

Here, John is using one of our old cedar fence slats as a planting board. He not only uses it to make the planting furrow, but he also uses it to lean on. It helps distribute his weight so it doesn't compact the soil.

Covering seeds with compost ©Janet Allen
Covering the seeds with compost

He then covers the seeds with a thin layer of fine compost.

Putting burlap on top ©Janet Allen
Putting burlap on top of the seeds

We've discovered that burlap helps keep the seeds moist and shaded (especially important in a dry, hot summer). When the plants start growing, we simply gently lift off the burlap. The large spaces let the little seedlings pass right through.

Soil staples ©Janet Allen
Anchoring the burlap with soil staples

He then anchors the burlap with soil staples. These are very handy little things; they have many uses.