This year with the seedlings, less is definitely more

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned about plants since starting this whole gardening thing, it’s that it is possible to be too fussy. Granted, many plants require lots of TLC and looking after in order for them to grow strong and healthy, but many don’t. And once fussiness sets in, that leads to worry, and that leads to stress. We keep bringing up our dismal seedlings of last year as a reminder to ourselves that sometimes it’s simply best to let nature do its thing. Because this year, we’ve done just that with the seedlings…and look…!

Look at all these peppers! Last year we had a couple droopy rows at best. This year, only a few of the rows haven’t made any kind of showing, but the seedlings that have started look fantastic!

 

In the experimental tray with peppers and flowers, we did lose a row of marigolds and a row of young snapdragons. We decided not to replant the seeds – at this point, it’s just as well that we sow them directly outside. But we will likely be transplanting a few of these guys into larger pots soon.

 

And boy oh boy, check out the tomatoes! Even in years past when we had good tomato crops, we don’t think the seedlings ever came on this strong. Most all the seedlings have their second sets of leaves, which means it’ll soon be time to start hardening them off. (In time for early May transplanting, we hope!)

 

More tomatoes, more promise!

Last year, as things with the seedlings only got worse and worse, we completely stressed out over them. We found ourselves planting new seeds every week through March and April in the hopes that something, anything, would happen. We watched the seedlings like hawks and were constantly switching trays to different shelves, trying out new light sources, watering too much or too little, and adding and taking away heat.

This year, we’ve practically ignored them. And look how good it worked! Oh, but seriously, we have been tending to them like good plant parents, but not only did we find non-fussiness to be an answer, we also found that taking the simple route is the way to go. Water the seedlings only when they are dry. Remove the “runts” regularly. Keep them generally warm, and only add extra heat only on especially cool days. And most of all, check on them once a day, but only check. If things look dour, take action. Otherwise, enjoy the little seedlings as they continue on their journey. After all, this is only the beginning. 🙂

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