Making 'Lemonade' from Seedling Failure

| 5/23/2016 11:54:00 AM

Tags: seed starting, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, garden planning, Blythe Pelham, Ohio,

peas growing

I have been raising my garden from seedlings for a very long time. I normally have immense success and delight in watching my babies thrive from first emergence to harvest. Much of the time, my own homegrown seedlings rival their nursery-raised cousins.

So far this season, my outdoor babies are coming along famously. I’ll soon be updating you on those potatoes I decided to experiment with. Both the hops and the peas (latter pictured above) are reaching for the stars! I’m looking forward to munching on the peas in the not too distant future. The hops will end up in apple cider and mead later in the summer.

Enemy forces seemed to converge over my indoor green thumbs this year, resulting in a near complete seedling failure. I suspect it was a multi-level attack. Mixed in were a couple of deviations I made — including a new starter soil and a different location for their birthing. To top it off, we were cursed with a very late hard frost. I’m trying hard not to get too attached to those babies still limping along on life support, but it’s difficult not to since I was really looking forward to trying some new varieties this year.

As I always look for the silver lining and bright side, I think I may have found my lesson here — though it took me a couple of weeks to grasp it. I remembered spending sweet time with our youngest son and a friend of his at a local nursery a couple of Mother’s Days ago. I decided to see if the place was still in business. Happily they were and they didn’t disappoint.

This Secret Garden (about 20 minutes from my home) offers a wonderful selection of vegetables and perennials, many of them heirloom varieties. I’d remembered their vast selection of tomatoes in particular. I was thrilled they were continuing to present such a lovely bunch. I’m looking forward to making a lot more salsa than I was able to last year. I’m almost afraid to count how many tomato plants I came away with… it may be nearly 30. C’mon salsa!

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