Yesterday I planted a bed of greens in the greenhouse: the following photos and text outline the procedure.
The day before planting, a previous planting of greens had been removed, the bed enriched with six bags of steer manure, thoroughly mixed in to the top eight inches, and the soil carefully levelled. The bed was flooded to insure deep moisture and to help level. That is a grape in the background – yes, it can be done in north Idaho!
After cultivating the soil with a hand tool, I “raked” the bed with the back of a steel tined leaf rake…this creates a fine, level seed bed and provides initial “furrows” for the tiny seed. Since the bed was already very level, I only raked twice, in two directions 90 degrees apart. Seed of two types of lettuce and mesclun was mixed in a wooden bowl and spread lightly by hand – this takes some practice, but using thumb and forefinger gives the best control of seed dispersal.
After seeding, I used the back of the leaf rake again to carefully mix the seed with the top 1/4″ of soil – some will remain on top. Then I tamped the soil several times with the 2×6 shown…this is important to insure the seed has good contact with the soil.
After tamping, I watered with a very fine mist and covered with remay fabric for shade. As soon as the plants sprout (3-7 days), I will remove the shading.