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Seeding lettuce and spinach into woodchips

Posts: 1219
Location: Southern Illinois
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Hello everyone,

So the weather is beautiful and I have finally gotten into the garden this spring.  This weekend I planted peas into my wood chip compost, not so much for the peas, but rather for the nitrogen those peas will fix into my "soil."

At present, I have a bed of wood chips about 12" deep that I inoculated last spring with wine caps.  Those wood chips are breaking down nicely and while I can still make out the basic shape of the individual chips, the chips are soft, moist, break easily and are riddled with wine cap mycelia.  I want to plant some romaine lettuce and spinach for an early spring crop and I am looking for suggestions/input on just how to sow these tiny seeds.  The chips are still fibrous enough that it would be difficult to make a little trench for planting the seeds.  I have thought about digging a slightly larger trench and filling with a topsoil/manure mixture and then seed into that.  Alternatively I could just sprinkle seeds into chips, rake lightly and see what comes up.

I suspect that while my wood chips by now will make a good planting medium, I do not think that it has enough nitrogen to really grow crops.  I am leaning towards the trench filled with topsoil and then seeding into that, but I am open to suggestions.  Alternatively, I could put the seeds into the chips and then cover with dilute urine.

I am sure that there are numerous options available, but I have never tried this before and I thought I would bounce the idea around before I plant which would probably be this weekend.  If a picture would help, I can provide one.

Thank you much in advance,

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i do kind of like you mentioned.  I open a row, fill it with compost, and seed into that.  It doesn't take much compost to get the plants started if your wood chips are fairly well broken down.
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