Shabbat 85 - Seeds in a garden patch
Another one in the list of allusions and implications is drawn from the phrase in Isaiah, " Like the earth gives forth its plant, and like a garden causes its seeds to sprout ..." The prophet describes the salvation of the Jewish people which will blossom gloriously at the end of days, but he also hints to the laws of planting. In general, it is forbidden to plant different species together, and here we can derive that on a garden patch of six by six hand-breadths one can plant five types of seeds but no more. How do we know that?
"Gives forth" denotes one species, "its plant" is another, "its seeds" implies two, for the total of four, and "to sprout" is the fifth. The Talmud gives multiple possible layouts for seed planting, as well as derives that the size of the patch is indeed six by six hand-breadths, and that it is situated in a barren area, for otherwise other seeds would impede the planting of the five species inside.
Art: Carl Larsson - The seeds