Most family gardeners in Armenia (and other places as well) just plant seeds and hope for the best, thinning the excess plants when they come in too thickly, and replanting when they die from the harsh conditions most places experience during early spring.
A few people are able to buy seedlings, but most seedlings for sale in this country are leggy and have very little root systems, having been ripped out of the ground and sold bare-root.
We are demonstrating a better solution, which I hope to show in the Photos section of the Mittleider Method Gardening Group on Yahoo Groups in the next few days.
We dig a hole 24″ – 30″ deep about 5′ wide and 15′ long. We fill the space 18″-24″ with manure – horse preferred – then put in a sawdust/sand mixture. If sawdust isn’t available clean straw, sand and a little clean dirt isn’t too bad.
We cover with bent steel poles and plastic that’s secured and covered with dirt all around. I’ll describe the planting process in another blog.
Cold weather gardeners should consider this for producing healthy seedlings 4-6 weeks earlier in the spring!