Last Sunday was officially garden day at the apartment: seed sorting, soil sifting, watering, and getting my mini greenhouse set up. With seeds collected along my bike trip and scavenged from the Rooting DC forum, some organic starter soil and trays from my buddy Mike, and a grow lamp and special agrobulb from dad, nothing could keep me from starting my garden indoors this year. No, not even a cold, cavernous basement apartment.
This evening I came home from work to discover a small but sturdy verdant presence in the previously empty cobbled-together greenhouse. Plants! My seeds were off and running, with zinnias in the lead, broccoli a close second, and even some ruby red chard poking a few shoots up out of the starter pots. I think those are little bitty hollyhocks in the corner there. Hooray! As I sipped on a beer and reviewed the current standings, I started to wonder which of my little plants would flourish. Which would come up next? Which would be the late arrivals? Which ones weren't going to start at all?
No, I couldn't just look on the package for this information. You see, while some seeds came in well-labeled packets with germination estimates and planting instructions from Johnny's or Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, others came in yellow envelopes from friends (like those Iraqi heirloom tomatoes and melons) or were seeds saved from last summer (like the bell peppers). Since I haven't had cable TV for years now, I figured I could maybe use a little entertainment....
My money's on the broccoli for the winner-take-all victory. I predict parsley in last place. Yes, even with two parsley contenders. Last year's team barely made it two weeks in the crummy soil I have out back. Then again, I did just till a few scoops of nutrient-rich worm castings into the backyard plot two weeks ago. Could be anybody's game, I suppose.
Anyone care to place a wager?