Saturday, March 19, 2011

Always Looking Up

We have sprouts. Or sprouting. I'm not entirely certain what to call them. Seedlings? Whatever these little shoots and small green leaves are, we have 'em.

The tomatoes took off first and the fastest. Originally the Brandywine and the Goldman's Italian-American were going gangbusters, while the Principe Borghese and Riesentraube lagged behind. They have since caught up and I can safely say, of the dozen each planted, we have at least eight little tiny plants per kind, as many as a full dozen for one. The good news came two mornings ago, however, when Matthew sent me a picture of the newly sprouted broccoli. This was our first sprout beyond tomatoes. Since then two of the peppers are showing life, the wild strawberries container is dotted with green and the thyme from Dory's little garden has several shoots. There is growth!

As a first time gardener, I don't yet know what I can't do. While I did read a book and look around for good seeds and I did have a general idea of what was needed (dirt, water, sunshine, right?), I confess to not studying this seed starting business too closely. Now, reading back through old articles on Mother Earth News, I'm realizing all the ways we weren't quite prepared for this. Like starting all your plants in 3 inches or deeper containers. Hmm, pretty sure our sagging and soggy little egg cartons don't quite reach that height requirement. Or the great benefit to having a growing lamp. Our plants look more like dirt on the run, constantly moved around the house to catch the best sunlight and heat throughout the day. I started a faint panic one night, thinking, we're doing it all wrong! We're not prepared! How will we survive the summer?!

I dialed that back pretty quickly and now we have more sprouts. Maybe not all hope is lost, even without fancy growing lights or the common sense to start with real potting plants.

Still, I'm glad of our ignorance at the moment. We're trying veggies we might not have if we had 'known better.' Even if the broccoli goes straight to flower, I'm proud it got going. And I do think we're going to have some winners from these plants. They're just trying so darned hard. They make you want to believe in them.

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