Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rotten Winter Seedlings

My mother has, by all accounts, a bright green thumb. Granted, she's been able to devote some significant time over the years to weeding and composting and mulching and even (gasp) watering her garden - all steps that she claims are "necessary" to make things grow, and grow well. While I feel that, on principle, most of those steps are overrated, I haven't yet been able to prove it. My many attempts at a glorious garden have generally ended with stunted, crooked, fruitless plants and lots of weeds. Lots. Of course, there was the one year of the Magnificent Jungle Garden - 2007. But I can't take any credit for it because non-stop rains did most of the work. In fact, the garden grew so huge, tangled and verdant that it attracted wild beasts such as the dreaded Woolly Bear who moved into one of my tomato plants, the sight of which caused me to temporarily swear off the outdoors in general for three full days. Google "woolly bear + poisonous" and you will understand, and then you will shudder. But this year is different. Jeremy's announced that he's taking over the summer garden duties in an attempt to actually, well, create vegetables. Since I'm feeling rather busy, I've chosen not to be offended and instead embrace his new interest in gardening. His only requirement was to start the process from seeds - seeds! What a novel (complicated) concept! We planted an interesting assortment of heirloom veggies the other night, and the process of stuffing seeds into tiny pots at the kitchen table took us both back to our 2nd grade science projects (the bean seed in the styrofoam cup - remember??). Once safely planted, the seeds were enthusiastically watered by Jer. Three days later, they are still brimming with water. Oops. I'm not holding my breath that these guys will sprout as they have likely already drowned in the abundant water. If you feel like starting your garden from seeds this year, and are able to resist overwatering, I highly recommend Seed Savers. You will find a much more interesting assortment of veggies while also preserving vegetables breeds from small farmers across the country. Win win.

Apologies for the terrible photo. The only seed packet of note is the, and I quote, "Lazy Housewife Bean." We have no idea what this is, but obviously couldn't resist.

This was at just the moment that I calmly asked Jeremy to "put the water can DOWN." It was futile.

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