Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Have to be cruel to be kind

I think I have trouble letting go.  I'm trying to grow more of my own food, but after I plant seeds, I can't stand to thin the young plants.  I just hate the process of watching a seedling push roots into the earth, force it's way up through the soil, straighten it's little neck out, spread it's little "wings" (er, leaves), reach for the sky... and get pinched off and thrown in the compost pile.  So this year I thought I'd try keeping all the seedlings.  I used little soil pellets and put a couple of seeds in each one.  When the seedlings looked big enough, if more than one had grown in a single pellet, I used scissors to cut the pellet in half, then I placed each half, with potting soil, into it's own little container.  I gave them light and water and was super excited to wait & see all my little "babies" thrive!  But they didn't :(  Instead, it seems my bright idea disrupted the root systems of both seedlings, causing almost all of them to wither away.  Great.  So I guess all those experienced gardeners who told me to pinch off some of the seedlings were right after all. 
Back to the drawing board.
And I guess this time I'd better bite the bullet and kill some of the little guys.  I guess I just can't save them all.  Survival of the fittest?
Hey - you know what makes me feel better?  Feeding the culled sprouts to my chickens!

Trying to grow your own veggies, compost your waste, or any other efforts to live more sustainably?  Check out this great contest at Thanks for Today!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ilana, sometimes it's true, we have to be 'cruel' to be kind;-) Thanks for linking this to my gardeners' sustainable living project. Do you think you could mention it in your post & link it here, as well, so anyone reading this will know to go over and read the rest of the posts that are entering? Thanks! Jan