The Urban Farmer: Hacking the Seed, A Not So Obvious Look at Direct Seeding Crops (FSFS08)

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Direct Seeding Tips and Tricks

  • Standard Bed – 30″ wide by 25′ long.
  • Planting too dense can compromise your yields by not leaving the plants enough space.
  • If you don’t plant dense enough you leave too much exposed soil which can cause soil to dry out quicker and affect germination.  It can also allow to weeds overtaking beds.
  • If you plant quick growing crops a little less dense you could get early crop maturity.  You might also avoid having some crop loss due to crops being crowded out.
  • Curtis plants radishes with 5 and/or 7 rows per bed which yields him about 75 bunches.  This nets him about

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8 replies on “The Urban Farmer: Hacking the Seed, A Not So Obvious Look at Direct Seeding Crops (FSFS08)

  • Peter

    I’m wondering where Curtis gets the majority of his seeds from. Does he order them online or go to a local seed shop? Does he save any of his own seeds?

    • Diego

      Various seed suppliers in the US and Canada including High Mowing and Johnny’s Select. He doesn’t save any of his own seeds. That isn’t practical for a farmer of his size.

  • Andre

    If I’ve missed it in a podcast, I apologize for the redundancy.
    I am curious how the irrigation is done inside of the poly tunnels. Drip? Spray? How do you irrigate 7 rows of radishes in a 30 inch bed without losing tremendous space to drip tape?

  • Gabriel


    Thanks for this series. I’ve been reading books, online PDCs and following permaculture for a couple of years and while having been inspired, moving to the country has never been my ideal living situation, always been an urbanite. This year my goal is to passively set up my backyard’s infrastructure for my own production but I find most permaculture ideas to be either inefficient or plain ugly for a suburban backyard. On the other hand, using permanent raised beds (maybe rammed earth instead of wood/cement block) may be a better option. Would Curtis ever recommend using permanent raised beds for his “spin” method for his own backyard? I know he mentioned that the investment of time/money wouldn’t be worth it in someone else’s yard. Would the reduction of weeds, maybe heat storage (if in greenhouse), and easy harvesting (less bending) of raised bed make it worthy? I currently live in a town/city in Ontario that doesn’t allow backyard production to be sold. There is some near-urban greenbelt designated area (maybe 10 to 20 minute drive) that could be rented or borrowed to utilize for production. I thought of some benefits to this as well as issues in contrast to having the farm in a highly visible area in town. What are his thoughts? If I were to try next year on a part time basis to start for experience purposes and due to the fact that a full time income is needed to live in this area as a home owner, does he think it is feasible to set up and make some profits. Thank you so much.

    • Diego

      I think raised beds work as long as you have it setup as a production bed system. Meaning, long uniform shaped beds that allow you to easily seed, harvest, cover, and irrigate them. So a raised bed is probably better as a short one than a high one. I would only go raised beds if absolutely needed. Ask – does the work justify the return? Here in San Diego I HAVE TO have raised beds because I need to have the bottoms fenced off from gopher pressure. Without that fence barrier between eh bed and the soil, crop losses are too great. Based on my experience, make the beds as long as you can in the space. I have two short beds where one long one would be better. Other than pest resistance, for me, I don’t see any advantage to raised beds.

      I will try to work the other questions into future shows.


  • Angie


    I have really really been enjoying this series. How generous of you and Curtis to share all this amazing information! Thanks for all your hard work!


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