Friday, October 10, 2008

I have carrots!

Yes, it's true. Curly-headed little sprouts are rising from the earth in the soon-to-be cold frame.

I've never been very successful at growing things from seed. First there's that problem of not seeing anything for days and days--it takes a lot of faith to keep watering dirt. Often Occasionally I get distracted by life and forget to do things, and this is especially easy to do if I am not seeing results. Forgetting to keep the soil uniformly moist is apparently not a good thing for seeds...

If Once seedlings do poke their little heads out of the earth, that same uniform moisture that was so good can cause a mysterious condition called "damping off," in which fungus rots the stems at the base. Can I describe the horrors of walking out to check on your plot--which was so promising the day before--and finding nothing but fallen soldiers?

And snails. Oy. Don't get me started talking about how much snails like to nibble on tender young shoots...

So many ways to fail.

As a result, over the years I've more or less given up on starting my plants from seed, thinking it an enterprise more suited to...well, longer attention span more nurturing types. This is an easy, if expensive, stance to take when you are talking about ornamental gardens, since most of those plants are not started from seed anyway. And the few times I've ventured into veggie gardening, I've simply bought a couple of little plants and plunked them in the ground, paying others to take care of the risky business of sowing and raising the plants up from infancy to the toddler stage of life. And at a couple of bucks per tomato plant, this has not been a bad strategy.

The problem is, I am limited to the "same old, same old" that is found in Home Depot every nursery. To get into the delightful, intriguing business of growing heirloom plants, seeds are the only option around these parts.

So seeds it is, boys and girls. I decided to give these heirloom carrots (Amarillo) a try and plant them in a cold frame. If all goes well, Walt and I will be eating fresh yellow vitamin A for Christmas. Stay tuned.

Damping off, indeed. Hmph.


  1. I planted all of my garlic today. Has yours started to come up yet?

  2. Hi Sean--

    No, I don't really expect to see any until about December or so...

    Congrats on planting the garlic! Where did you get your cloves?


  3. I'm a fan of BIG seeds (beans, okra, cilantro) but you've inspired me to venture out into uncharted territory.

  4. I have exactly ONE carrot growing from seed. Last night, I dreamed that I pulled it and freaked out. LOL!


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