Sprouts and magic

Posted by Cameron on 01.06.09 10:09 PM

(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*It wasn’t easy to leave our newly planted crops germinating all on their lonesome as we took off for two weeks of well-deserved R&R on the far side of the Atlantic, but it was probably for the best. If nothing else, we were saved the agony of daily garden inspections in search of any signs of life. I briefly considered pointing a webcam at the back yard before we shuffled off to London, but discarded the idea after realizing that it would seriously creep out the housesitter, and that the camera’s resolution is so poor that I would be lucky to be able to pick out the raised beds, let alone any tiny green sprouts.

So we returned from Albion with zero information, but plenty of hope. We dropped our luggage, played with the dogs for a minute or two, and then raced out to see if our backbreaking labor (ha!) had shown results. Happily, it had.

The radishes have come up like absolute gangbusters, sprouting delicate green tops and putting everything else to shame. The pea vines are running a close second, with two lines of tough, wiry — and at less than half an inch tall, seriously cute — stems that already look like they’re ready to wrestle a very tiny trellis into submission. The mixed lettuce is up and it’s kind of amazing to see how different all the different types look already, even though the largest leaf can’t be more than two millimeters across. A few of the onion sets are showing signs of life, and we even have a couple of green sparks showing in the leek trench.

So far, the laggards are the onion seeds and the beets. I’m not holding my breath on the former — everything that I’ve read says that onions are tough to grow from seed and that even when they are successful they take forever to germinate. I’m a bit puzzled about the beets, as they’re supposedly unfazed by cool weather, but it’s still pretty chilly at night and the seeds have only been in the ground for 20 days, 15 hours, and 33 minutes. But who’s counting?

And yes, that is frost that you see on the seedlings in the pictures. The Sunday morning after our first night back arrived with a coating of frozen crystals. A few days later, none of the little ones seem any the worse for wear. Since then, I’ve also discovered that I can stop frost from occurring at all simply by covering the plants to protect them — much the way that carrying an umbrella prevents rain from falling. Me and my magical frost cover are available for weddings, birthdays, and bar mitzvahs.

(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*(c)2009 AEC *all rights reserved*




Comment by Morgan

HA! What’s your out-of-town bar mitzvah rate?

Posted on 01.07.09 at 6:13AM

Comment by Jaden

My plants and I are so used to hot hot hot weather in Florida, that when a rare evening brings just a snippet of frost, I forget to cover and the plants freak out. Bad mama, huh?

Posted on 01.07.09 at 11:43AM

Comment by Genie

Didn’t I tell you the radishes would rock on? They are the best germinators evah…and my favorite, favorite seedling in all the world.

(Yes, I recognize that I am a giant dork because I have a favorite seedling in all the world.)

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your onions do what they’re supposed to and that everything continues going well!

Posted on 01.07.09 at 12:13PM

Comment by cookiecrumb

I hope I didn’t give you bogus intel on the onion seeds. Mine just seeded themselves naturally, and I don’t even know how long it took them to sprout. But they did! Fingers crossed for you.

Posted on 01.07.09 at 1:53PM

Comment by Mangochild

I’ve heard the same about onions, but don’t give up on them yet, sometimes veg surprises you – my carrots seemed dead and unable to sprout, but then when I went to pull them they were going strong! And my tomatoes this summer, lets just say I was picking them into October – they just wouldn’t die even though the days were cold, the stems on the plants were brown and dry – they just insisted on bearing fruit.

Amazing about the radishes in January, San Fran is something I’m jealous of over in CT

Posted on 01.08.09 at 2:01AM

Comment by Cameron

Morgan: I work cheap, but the monkey’s gonna cost you.

Jaden: Once I figured out that the kids weren’t any the worse for wear after our wussy little Bay Area frost, I decided that they could just tough it out from here on.

cookie: Obviously, your plants love you. I aspire to inspire the same level of devotion in mine.

Mangochild: Yes, my inner New England child alternates between ecstatic joy and deep suspicion that something Just Ain’t Right when you can grow vegetables in January. Meanwhile, I’ll be jealous of your big, fat, Connecticut River Valley tobacco-growin’-heat-and-humidity-driven tomatoes and cucumbers come summertime.

Posted on 01.08.09 at 1:31PM

Comment by robin // caviar and codfish

So jealous. My itty bitty summer garden is covered in snow right now. Maybe I’ll go read it this post and goad it into growing. That’d work.. right? ;)

Posted on 01.10.09 at 11:04AM

Comment by Tartelette

I have spent the evening catching up on your London trip, eating, sightseeing and coming home. So nice…Good luck with the garden! I am still doing baby steps with mine (read easy stuff).

Posted on 01.10.09 at 11:13PM

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