Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I am a hideous murderous monster

So my excitement about my lovely little seedlings has been tempered somewhat by their rather untimely deaths, which not only set this whole project back at least a week or two but left me feeling incompetent, arrogant and murderous, as well as downhearted. If I killed these with such ease what's the likelihood that the rest will fare any better? Not great. With the entire garden depending on my success I am feeling somewhat less than confident about the outcome.

A little over a week after my first planting there were several strong eggplant and pepper seedlings and a few empty spots which I reseeded, hopefully. Just hours later, a number of the plants which had previously appeared to be perfectly healthy were looking weak and stressed. Feeling quite upset and culpable, I left them overnight in the vain hope that they might bounce back even though it was obvious they were done for. C Monkey suggested that they'd been lost to damping off, but I believe they may have drowned--or, more to the point, that I drowned them. It's the only reasonable explanation for why they would have gone from healthy to terminal in a matter of hours. When I pulled them the next day I found solid stems with surprisingly strong roots but shriveled leaves. No signs of damage at soil level.

This has taught me a couple important lessons.

plant considerably more than you need even if it seems like too much, because it's better to uproot a beautiful new life on purpose than to watch helplessly as your hopes shrivel and die...

Second, the deaths of a few tiny plants doesn't really make you a hideous killing monster but it sure can make you feel like one.

So that was a bit of a setback, for me and for them. Having no choice but to forge ahead, I started a flat of eleven varieties of tomatoes, many of which came up today--just in the last 12 hours or so. Still waiting on the peppers and eggplant...

Last night I suddenly realized that I'm way way behind schedule already, and I don't have enough packs or trays or room for all this, not to mention any knowledge or skills...but what can I do now? Only hope for the best, I guess, and try a bit harder.

Tonight: a flat or two of brassicas, some tomatillos and okra. (Okra?? What the hell am I doing?)

Oh, I almost forgot... Today the Trash Man brought me (as he told me he would) a wadded-up paper napkin containing about dozen melon seeds, of a variety which he tells me is Indian in origin, grows in the shape of a football but up to two feet long, and will far surpass in flavor any canteloupe I may have tasted before. Let's hope I don't kill them, too.

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