an ugly selfie

Sometimes you just need a little vacation from retirement. We took two days to get away from the endless busy-ness of the ‘easy life’ in a rustic cabin in Indiana. The trip was great, the return so-so.

It’s natural to try to present your best side, your beauty shots, when you blog. I do it often. You probably do it. But I’m not so vain as to deny mistakes and miscalculations. They’re part of gardening.

When I returned from our excursion, the first thing, of course, was to check the seedlings in the grow room. Not a happy thing. Only half of the sweet corn seeds had germinated. I plant them early to give them a head start in the warmth of the house. But having enough seedlings to plant a block of plants is critical for pollination with corn. I don’t have enough sprouted seedlings to start a block, so it’s back to square one, and my corn season got a few days shorter.


Next up, the very early tomato plants that I decided to experiment on by clipping off the growing tips. Oops. The two seedlings that I trimmed didn’t look so happy.


I’d chalk it up to sunburn if I didn’t have another seedling, a control plant, that received identical hardening off. Be very cautious if you’re considering this. Better yet, don’t. Luckily I’ve learned that setbacks don’t have to be disasters with a backup plan. There are extra plants under the lights for just this reason.IMG_4614

And finally, out in the garden, the effects of a hard freeze a few nights ago showed plainly. I didn’t have enough grow tunnels to cover the whole bed of young onion plants, so there’s a wilted, sickly patch right in the middle. Again, the backup plan should save my silly rear. There are more plants sitting in a cold frame ready to take their places.

IMG_4617Anyway, mistakes were made, and will continue to be made.


10 thoughts on “an ugly selfie

  1. Dan, I’m forever making mistakes. And I berate myself too, especially when I have my reservations about something I intend to do. Gardening is all about learning isn’t it? And experimenting … and and What works for me, might not work for you, all that stuff. Sometimes I wonder whether we know ‘to’ much – perhaps we should stand back a bit and let nature do what it does best. Looks like you can’t go away again! LOL just kidding

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  2. I will never quite understand sweet corn germination. For the past two years I have had barely half the seeds germinate but this year (sorry to say this) almost every one has come up. I know because I sow individually in small cells trays. Yet I do the same thing every year and almost to the same day – about the 20th April to plant out about a month later. I do not sow the same kinds or even from the same supplier. Your ‘pinched’ toms are a bit of a mystery too – why would they scorch like that when the control was unaffected. It doesn’t make sense that the pinching caused that. it looks like sideshoots are forming so I would hang on in there and see what happens 🙂

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    • You know, I have to agree with you that the tomato seedling damage didn’t look like something caused by pruning. It may have been a combination of pruning and hardening off. I took all three plants outside the day of the pruning. So maybe the pruned plants just had more to deal with at once than they could take. Not a huge problem. I have more of the same variety growing.

      As far as corn germination, I’ve never had this many seeds fail at once, and I’ve been growing the same variety from the same company for years. The seeds are a year old, but that’s never been an issue either. Well, pre-sprouting will be a sure fire way to know which seeds are viable anyway.


      • I hope the toms make some growth and do what you expected. I try not to blame the seeds but usually take the blame myself – but maybe it is the seeds. Anyway I am sure there is time to sow some replacements – I hope they all come up this time 🙂

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