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Sprouting for Spring

March 15, 2012

As I’ve said before, last year was a bad year for my home-grown sprouts. I got a late start, lost several young sprouts in my first try when they dried out, and then finally lost all but one seedlings to the season’s weird weather (the 6-foot-plus plant eventually ended up as a sacrifice to a brutal gopher god).

But I am not to be deterred.

I have started anew, growing little seedlings in my bathroom. This year, in addition to the grow light, I have placed a seed-warming mat under the trays. Apparently, the warmth helps the roots of the seeds grow faster, stronger.

The first seedlings pushed through the soil within just a couple of days, but I knew it was too early to celebrate. Instead, I bided my time, gently spraying the soil every day to encourage growth without over-saturating the little seeds.

By the time I left town on a business trip last Sunday, every cell in the tray had a growing plant with embryonic (cotyledon) leaves. Imagine my surprise when I returned just a few short days later and discovered that each of the tiny plants had doubled in size and sprouted at least two true leaves.

If I can keep these going, I will have more than my share of tomatoes, peppers and basil. And I can’t wait.

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