How to plant seeds in thick straw mulch
So this is my first year using straw to mulch my beds. I've mulched most of my beds about 2-4" deep and like the results - it has a nice, consistent moisture content around soil level and there are already a lot more insects coming around. One problem I've been struggling with is how exactly I should go about planting. I've read that you just plant the seeds, "normally," which has led me on a lot of different paths. I've moved small patches of straw away and planted seeds in the soil, I've made little compost mounds in the straw and planted seeds there, and I've broadcast seeds over the straw.
To my dismay, most methods have proven fruitless, either due to my planting technique or from other factors. I had some success with making the mounds of compost in the layer of straw mulch, but don't favor this method because the compost mounds dry up quicker than I'd like and are just little spots of unmulched soil.
So my question is for any of you who plant seeds in deep mulch layers: how do YOU do it? It gets a little more frustrating for me when I'm trying to plant things with small seeds, like lettuce, which seem like they're being buried too deep (more than 3x the size of the seed deep, as I've been told many times as a general rule). In that case, I'm not sure what the best course of action is so I end up trying every method and wasting a lot of seeds (though I'm sure many will come up as weeds later on when I don't remember what I broadcast out).
I am now considering moving away larger areas of straw and then planting lots of seeds and then moving the straw back. I suspect that plants will generally push through the mulch layer or elongate enough to find the light through the mulch, but generally don't have that much experience with it other than in my reading.
Sorry for the long post. I've never had problems sowing before and so didn't even think that it would cause me so much stress. Each morning when I look out onto my relatively empty plot, I let out a small sigh of shame. At least my perennials are all doing well haha.