It is nearly always an advantage to firm the soil after sowing. By this operation the seed is brought into close contact with the soil particles which furnish the moisture necessary for germination. Compacting is especially important in loose soils, because it makes the capillary action stronger and insures a larger percentage of germination. Peter Henderson claimed that the most valuable chapter he ever wrote was on "The Use of Feet" in market gardening. He often had men step foot over foot on plats of several acres where the rows were only 1 foot apart. The modern seed drill does the same work, but with less force, and the roller is used sometimes for this purpose. After covering the seed, gardeners often pat the soil with the hoe blade or the back of the shovel. When sowing under glass or in small beds, sticks or blocks are generally used. Dense and compact soils need very little of the above treatment after seed sowing.