Seedlings, Like Toddlers

This is growing time – counting on lots of sun, some rain, and some ingenious pest killing solutions in the garden.  It’s a time of learning patience, watching plants that will produce much of our summer food grow from tiny seeds into green giants.

Starting plants from seedlings requires lots of patience and some perseverance too – things I should learn.  A good grow light really helps the process along.  A simple, long flourescent light does the trick.  Suspended above the seed trays on chains, it can be raised a little at a time to encourage seedlings to grow straight and strong. 

Here’s a look at what we did in our basement this Spring:

Under a long, flourescent light, I planted sweetie tomatoes, two kinds of big tomatoes, peppers, basil, and lavender.

Had to keep filling up the bucket of soil-less mixture from my parents’ farm – I wouldn’t plant the seeds in anything else because this stuff makes things grow.

While I only got two fragile little pepper plants out of all the seeds I planted…

…I now have lavender coming out my ears!

The tomatoes did really well too; and the only thing I’ll change next year is that I’ll start them much earlier.

Cherry tomato plants inside for the night after being hardened off for a while.  They’re planted in paper cups, resting in a cut-off Pampers box.  Disposable diapers are good for something.

Big and green, itching to be planted!

The basil and lavender already smelled incredible indoors.  I could hardly resist running my fingers through the lavender seedlings, and sniffing my hands.

Sitting in the kitchen like patient toddlers, waiting to go outside.

And here they are! 

Lovely lavender:

Trusty tomatoes:

Tiny tomatoes:

Still “collared” to protect them against cutworms.  🙂  Poor little babies got started in the basement so late…  Maybe I’ll be a little more on the ball next year.

Tomatoes and basil (and in the same bed, a pepper plant which I forgot to photograph):

I’ll post pictures of the whole garden soon – from plans to tilling to bare rows to GREEN.

I love the challenge of this – being forced to wait for something good.  I guess seedlings really are like toddlers – happiest when outside, and not something you can force growth upon.  You just have to let it happen, and encourage and redirect, encourage and redirect, prune, encourage, and redirect.

Hope your garden is flourishing!  Enjoy the fruits of your labor as the summer goes on.

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2 thoughts on “Seedlings, Like Toddlers

  1. Thank you for sharing a peek of your garden with us! I have a lot to learn when it comes to gardening, but 6 years ago I had “a lot to learn” about parenting, as well, and I still do! Our garden is doing “okay,” but I’m not giving it as much love and care as it needs. Unfortunately, we lost a group of pepper and tomato seedlings to some kind of white, fuzzy, mold when we had them in little pots in the garage. I am not sure what went wrong there, but the next thing we knew each little plant was surrounded on top of the soil in the mold. I just chucked them. If we want peppers and tomatoes, we have to buy plants at this point. In the garden outside, the onions, corn, radishes, peas, carrots, lettuce, cilantro, basil, rosemary are doing decent. We have a few other things that are questionable. I was so excited yesterday when I made a summer salsa (to put out at Aly’s birthday party!) and got to use a green onion out of our very own garden. Ha!

    • Your garden sounds WONDERFUL! What a great variety! I feel for you – we had the same trouble with some tomato plants – mold was starting to grow around the bases on the soil. I think ours didn’t get as fuzzy as yours. I ended up planting them anyway, just to see if they’d do okay, and they were fine. Last year I had mold problems AFTER they were planted, and a tomato blight (possibly from me watering them too much late in the day) spread to almost every single thing in the garden, systematically killing off each plant. I guess there’s always a new challenge and a new thing to learn! This year it’s how to deal with aphids and rampant ants!

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