3. Create a moat.
When planting from starts: Create a small dirt moat around each plant (slightly larger than the drip line, where the leaves reach out to). This channels water towards the roots when the plant is watered or when it rains. This is a particularly good idea if you are working with compacted or sunbaked soil.
When direct planting from seeds: Dig a small channel 1-2 inches deeper than the recommended depth for the type of seeds you are planting. Sprinkle the seeds in the channel and cover with the appropriate amount of soil making sure there are still ridges (of soil) on either side of the seeds, to channel water downwards.
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