Frankly, without the seed packets telling me what to do, I was kind of at a loss.
Every day I came home from work and went right out back to examine my pots for seedlings. Having weathered (so to speak) the Big Freeze and finally made it to spring, I felt I could breathe easier. We're on Easy Street now, baby, I told myself smugly. I hadn't counted on predators, however, or I wouldn't have been so smug about it.
People complain about deer and rabbits and ground squirrels destroying their gardens, but the worst predator of all is my dog Lila. It wasn't long before she discovered that there was new soil in those pots. I began coming home to find that Lila had pawed the top layer of soil out of four or five of the biggest pots. How wonderful it must have felt between her toes! How soft against her tender nose as she buried her snout deeply and inhaled its rich, loamy scent! How like a gentle spring rain as she flung it up into the air and let it spill down upon her! For days this happened. I felt sure my seeds were doomed and wondered briefly if the dog was incubating any of them in her stomach and how much a thing like that might come to in vet bills.
The seeds, I figured, were either dried up and lost in the wind, digested, or will eventually sprout next to the patio and then perish in the foot traffic there. You might think I would be discouraged. But no! I scooped all the dirt up off the ground and refilled the pots anyway and patted it down and spent the next few days wandering around the house in my lighter-weight spring socks making firm statements such as, "She won't do it again." Finally I got smart and stuck some rocks in the pots which proved to be a much more effective method of stopping the pawing than just fervently hoping she'd quit.
|Baby Mystery Plants #'s 2 - 7|
And then I realized that nothing is labeled anymore because when I was labeling everything the first time around, I ran out of toothpicks and couldn't be bothered to get back into the random kitchen implement drawer for more (it's just so deep and frightening in there) and for some reason it had seemed reasonable to believe that memory would suffice once things started popping up. Ah, yes, I would say at the first pale curl of tender baby leaflet, it is obvious from the pseudo- terminal counterclockwise whorl of the supernumerary bud that this is an eggplant.
I guess "nothing is labeled anymore" is not really the right term here. What I mean is "half of them never got labeled at all because I was simply to lazy to mess with it and now I regret that because, my god, even if these things fruit, I'm still not going to know a tomatillo from a ground squirrel which I don't think I planted, but really, without labels, how would I know?!"
|Baby Mystery Plant #1|