Carol @ May Dreams Gardens had a hoe down once and I participated. This is a picture of my only hoe. I’ve never needed but that one. She has many and they are posted at her website if you care to see her lot of them. It is an education to read about all her hoes and their uses.
I want to tell you what not to do when planting new seed. Do not sow the seed in new beds if you think weeds may still surface. I made many mistakes this year that I won’t be repeating next season. I have new beds and amended them at the same time the seeds were planted in the ground. I directly sowed them and carefully covered each seed to the desired depth. Most of them came up and so did the weeds. It got so bad that I had to pull many of the seed varieties up with the weeds. They all sprouted at the same time and were too intertwined to separate. It was a disaster and I knew all was lost this season.
There were a few varieties that made it like the Zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, and vegetables. They have larger stems and survived pulling the weeds around them. I will direct sow those again.
My problem was in the horse manure delivered to my house and worked in to these beds. It was too fresh and sprouted a million weeds and grasses. It was almost overwhelming and I cried losing all those seedlings in the process of pulling weeds. I wasn’t home the day they delivered the manure and worked it in or I would have halted the process. We didn’t own the house yet. I had to rework the beds after the landscapers were done making of mess of things. They clearly did not know what they were doing. If I had put any plants in my beds they would have died in this clay.
If you are going to directly sow seed, make sure your beds were weed free the previous year. If you add amendments, make sure it is at least a yr old and from a reputable source. I won’t be adding any more manure like that. I’ll be adding the stuff that says it’s 99% weed free. I’ll probably sow many of the varieties in pots first. The chipmunks had a wonderful time chowing down on the seedlings. They don’t bother plants that are several inches high.
The moral of this story and I knew better, I just assumed the landscapers knew too—-don’t put down fresh manure, don’t sow where you think weeds may still come up, and tender varieties may survive being directly sowed but may not survive the chipmunks so plant indoors.
Please forgive me for not responding these couple of days—I’ve got some kind of stomach virus.