Seed Starting on a Grand Scale
Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up
where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed.
Convince me that you have a seed there,
and I am prepared to expect wonders.
                                                 –Henry David Thoreau
When I first really became interested in gardening, I began to dream of a vegetable garden. I purchased a book or two, read them diligently, and declared myself fully trained in starting plants from seed. I bought seed starting trays and packets of seeds and spent an afternoon carefully dropping a little seed into each module. Within a weeks, the seeds had sprouted and lovely little plants began to grow. I checked on them multiple times a day and imagined what my garden would look like bursting with luscious vegetables. Then one day a cucumber leaf had turned to lace. I scanned the books for answers and got none. The next day, more leaves had become skeletons. By the third day, all of my garden dreams had been demolished. Perhaps I wasn’t fully trained.
Happily, with so many things that don’t go right the first time, I took the seed starting failure as a challenge. The only trouble was that the challenge went on for two years until I finally started seeing reasonable success. Now I finally feel like I have a better grasp on the situation, which is good news for a flower farmer. Seed starting around here happens on a weekly basis. I never tire of seeing the seedlings with their tightly curled necks peeking out of the soil. Once they’ve grown up enough, I feel such pleasure in the process of potting them on that I’ve been known to get a little choked up.
I do, indeed, have great faith in a seed. After all, each one has the potential to become a bouquet of fresh flowers that brightens someone’s day. That is a thing of wonder.
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