The Earth Laughs in Flowers

Sometime in the last decade or so, I discovered how easy it is to grow plants from seed, especially vegetables.  My husband often jokes with me about how many different vegetables I try to grow each year.  I don’t even know how to narrow it down to just one or two types.  I have this overwhelming need to try growing as many as I can; I guess I like the challenge.

As my architecture job has been about as demanding as it could possibly be for the last few months (if you know anyone that works in the field, you’ll realize that it is a blessing and a curse), I decided to stick with my easy gardening ideal and obtain some help in the seed selection department.  I ordered a subscription to Urban Organic Gardener’s Monthly Seed Club.  They take the guesswork out of selecting seeds by using your information from a very short questionnaire and furnishing you monthly with seeds selected for your region and growing conditions.  Although I was slow to get around to it, I managed to get the seeds into their pellets and sprouting in the seed starter tray.

I saw that my seedlings were basically pushing the lid off their seed starter tray themselves and realized it was about time to get them in the ground.  I took off their lid for a few days to get them used to the non-greenhouse humidity and when my daughter suggested again (luckily on the weekend this time) to plant them outside, we did.  And, it was windy.  Really windy.  As in, not going to be able to erect the crop cage or any other light animal barrier that day.  So, I crossed my fingers and hoped the seedlings would still be there.

Well, I have been defeated.  Sort of.  Or, rather, I have been forced to focus on just one or two veggies (silent cheers from my spouse).  It took a few days for me to get up the nerve to take a look.  When I finally did, I confirmed that the seedlings were gone.  Not just eaten to the base, but completely missing.  The pesky wildlife seem to enjoy seeds, too.

Luckily, my daughter’s cabbage plant was still in tact. (The third graders all receive one to grow as part of the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program).  Of course, we had covered “Howard” with chicken wire already, weeks earlier.  Also, the tomato plant was spared (that was a greenhouse grown plant from my daughter’s Mother’s Day plant sale).  And, we have some random lettuce volunteers from last year.

So, that will be it on the vegetables this year.  We planted some flower seeds, so we will see how they grow, too.  I will put up the crop cage this weekend (deer do love the flowers, too, don’t they)?  Maybe I will take a trip to our fantastic local farms, Dreyer Farms and Williams Nursery, and pick up some herb plants to add to the mix.  Overall, this year it will stay simple.  I think nature is trying to tell me something.

And, next year I will put up the crop cage before the seedlings go out.

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