This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In the spring, when the ground is warm enough to cause the plants to show the first symptoms of life by pushing, I put a quantity of the best barn-yard manure in the trench or ditch, and on that placed the loose earth left lying at the side during the winter. In this ground the plants were placed. If in two rows, eighteen inches apart; if in one row, nine inches apart. The latter, I am inclined to think from experience, the best for every purpose.
The plants thus set out were kept carefully weeded and cultivated all summer. They sprouted slowly and very irregularly. But these were plants purchased. Those I grew were much quicker and more uniform. By the end of July nearly every plant was growing. In one instance, by count, I found but two out of two hundred and eighty failed.