Last week when I planted all my seedlings in their little indoor greenhouse box, I was careful to plant and then label everything in groups so that I would recognize them when they sprouted.
Every morning when I check on my little garden, I am happy to see the ones that have decided to make an appearance. I think just about everything I've planted has sprouted. Except my peppers. I'm still waiting on those. I'm trying not to worry since it takes about 2 weeks for them to germinate, but...come on, guys! Everyone else is already sprouted! Out of bed, sleepy heads!
Today, I had to do one of the jobs I HATE to do. I had to thin the seedlings. In case you're not sure what that is: I plant several seeds in each pellet to ensure that at least one will grow. Sometimes nothing grows. And other times, everything grows. I have enough pellets that if I just got one plant from each, I would have enough in my garden. Sometimes 4 or 5 seedlings sprout in one little pellet. I have to pull out the smaller ones and let just one grow so it's not competing for soil nutrients or sunlight. It is better for the garden in the long run, but I still hate to do it. I feel bad pulling out this happy little plant that has only ever done everything I've wanted it to do. Ugh.
This year, I tried to approach it more like American Idol. The short ones just didn't make the final cut. If I pretend I'm just sending them back home to their families, then it's not so hard. Luckily, (or unfortunately, you decide) my kids hate thinning day, too. They usually swoop in and take up some of the discarded seedlings (as many as they can manage) and plant them in anything they can find. (incidentally, we had a watermelon plant one year that grew up ONTO the front porch [people had to step over it to get into my house] because my daughter "rescued" it as a seedling and planted it there. Good times) So 5 tomato plants and 3 cucumber plants were rescued today. The rest were "sent home."
So today, thinning day, when I had a thumb and forefinger around FIghter's stem, ready to detach him from the dill pellet and toss him in the reject pile, I just couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to deny life to this little living thing that fought so hard to live against all odds.
I gave him his own pellet instead. And welcomed him to the team. I'm not even sorry. I don't have room for one more cabbage in my garden, but I have a feeling I'll make room for him somewhere. I can't wait to watch this one grow!