I could just imagine this coming from an inquisitive six-year old (if I had one around – I don’t, thankfully) pointing a menacing, chubby little finger at the delicate stems of my toms and peppers…. Heck no! I would reply, “These sprouts are not for turning into a stir fry for dinner, they are the sprouts of yummy goodness that is to come this summer!”
I have an abundance of little green shoots about four inches high in various little pots crammed onto the ledge in my living room window (think high-density, low-rise town homes) and they thrive with relatively little attention.
Thank goodness I don’t need to babysit them all day, like my kids when they were younger…I can still hear the “He hit me” or “She’s hogging the TV” in my head that makes me want to run for the bathroom, lock the door and enjoy a much-needed Calgon moment. Instead, they hang around in their peat pots soaking up the warming rays of the sun and all I need to do is occasionally rotate them so they don’t become the leaning tower(s) of Pisa when they should be like the CN Tower or the Space Needle.
Most of the hard work raising vegetables and flowers from seeds comes in the beginning when you have a million little peat pots, seed packets, bags of seed-starting soil mix and Popsicle sticks spread out on the kitchen table. You have to fill the peat pots and then painstakingly insert two or three itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny seeds (after you put your glasses on) per pot, being careful not to tip over the opened seed packets and sending them skittering all over the table, only to be hopelessly mixed with others, and then you end up tossing whatever seeds into whatever pot and hope for a tossed salad (hmmm..new idea there!). But I managed not to knock over any, so all is right with world, for now.
Keeping the soil “moist but not soggy” while the seeds germinate is truly an exercise in self-control. I have already drowned some habanero seeds and am now on to batch number two. Let’s see if I can do better this time. Meanwhile, everyone else in my miniature plant world is coming along fine. The tomatoes are growing the fastest. They already have their third set of leaves unfurling, with the poblano peppers not that far behind.
The cilantro and parsley are doing so well that if I wanted some “micro sprouts” (culinary term I keep hearing on Iron Chef) I could use them as garnishes for my…ahem…lavish meals. But I will wait for them to get bigger. No sense in mowing them down too soon.
My chives are being quite shy and have not poked one teensy stem forth yet, and I am worried I may have drowned them too….but on the positive side, my Iceland poppies have popped out all over so that at least has made me happy.
I can’t wait to get these little guys into the garden…but when I wrote this there were still some six to eight weeks to go before they could safely be planted without fear of a Canadian spring frost coming along to numb their little roots. Hmm…maybe I can knit little scarves for them.
Deborah L. Sykes is a sales rep with Sutton Group-About Town Realty in Burlington, Ont. Licensed since 2003, she has a background in new home construction and the residential resale marketplace servicing Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville and outlying areas. Email email@example.com or visit www.deborahlsykes.com.