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Will They Grow?

by Lorri Leigh

I have a large collection of flower pots. Every spring I get ambitions and try to grow 15 or 20 types of flowers and vegetables. Only the really hardy flowers survive and none of the vegetables ever do. The rest shrivel up and go to the big garden in the sky. Consequently, containers of every size imaginable are stacked in my back yard.

I’m using some of these containers to plant vegetables this year, even though I managed to kill everything I planted last year. I’m not discouraged. Given the high prices of vegetables, I want to learn how to grow them because I don’t want to pay those prices.
I start by dumping two bags of soil into a huge container. Then I mix in some peat moss for strong root development. Sounds like I know what I’m talking about, doesn’t it? I read that right off the bag, otherwise I probably would have thrown it out for being too dry to use. Then I add Perlite, to prevent soil compaction. Again, right off the bag. The only reason I bought peat moss and Perlite is because the lady at the hardware store said I needed them.
Next, I fill cute little brown biodegradable pots. I end up with 13 of them! Egads! The last thing I need is my seeds planted in unlucky pots! So, I open another pack. I kid you not. By the time I’m done, I end up with 30 perfect little pots. I find a skinny stick and stick it down in the soil about ¼ inch in each pot.

Time to plant the tomato seeds! The package says to plant them two per pot. They’re so small I can just about see them. I add an extra one for good measure.

I put the pots on a cookie sheet, spritz them with water, and cover them with plastic wrap. By the time I’m finished wrapping, and after five minutes in the sun, it looks like a damp tray of brownies.

My foray into vegetable gardening does not end here. Noooo, I diligently press onward to the carrots. The directions on the seed pack say to plant five seeds per square inch. Really? They’re so small I’d have to use a tweezers to count them out. I don’t have the patience for that. Nor do I have the time to make sure they land in an inch square area. I scatter them, cover them with dirt—give them some water and my best wishes.

Now, I just have to wait to see if any little seedlings will be brave enough to push through the peat and perlitelaced soil. They’re going to have to be very courageous if they’re going to entrust their care to me for the summer!

With any luck, by the time the next edition rolls out, I’ll have some little sprouts to tell you about. Fingers crossed! Stay tuned!