It has been about a week and a half since I began sprouting seeds for the upcoming gardening season. So far so good. Over 80% of the seeds have sprouted and the paper pots are holding up well.
Sprouting really is an exercise in patience. Some of my seeds only began showing signs of life in the past 24 hrs. Sure, the ones that haven't peeked through the surface yet concern me somewhat, but it's important for me to remember that they operate on their own schedule. Considering that I've planted a couple of exotics and mainly seeds I or my friends have gathered it makes perfect sense that some of them have yet to show signs of life. Some of them may not be viable at all & it's likely some will fail completely. Failure in gardening is something to be expected and not lamented. I find it's far more useful to celebrate the successes.
So far my nightshades (tomatoes and bell peppers) have offered me the most assurance. They sprouted first and show increasing signs of vigor.
I'll be putting my newly acquired seed spoons to good use when I plant the second wave of plants this weekend. I most certainly over-seeded my foxglove and million bells. I have some serious thinning to do!
I tried bending the rules with my wild arugula. The packet suggested sowing direct... seemingly for good reason. Soon after sprouting most of the sprouts wilted and died. Proof that it's worth taking the advice of the generations of gardeners that have come before us.
All of the exotics I planted have yet to stir. Bitter Melon seeds I collected while preparing dinner one evening and Calamondin harvested from the healthy specimen that resides in our living room. My hopeful suspicion is that they all require a long time to germinate and/or more intense heat. I'm not ready to believe that the seeds weren't viable. I've been focusing on the latter as I stave off the desire to plant anew in their pots.
The cast of my second round of sprouting includes lettuces, kale and sunflowers. The third round will be sown mid-April followed by the final direct sowing in the garden. The reason behind this staggered approach is that here in chilly zone 4 the growing season is short. The indoor head-start gives certain plants the full growth period they require. By the way, I determined my schedule and psyched myself up with this helpful advice from a fellow northern gardener.
Good luck to everyone else preparing a garden!!! Another update soon.