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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – May 19

Last weekend I put together a display at the garden center that encouraged people not to be afraid of seeds. It’s astonishing how many come in looking for six-pack of carrot or bean plants. “Those are better grown from seed,” I always advise, and the customer usually backs away, looking as if I’d advised adding rat poison to their morning coffee.

I understand that seeds aren’t necessarily easy. Some require light for germination, while others need dark. A number of seeds have to go through a cold period in order to sprout. All newly emerging seedlings need to be kept moist enough, but not too wet, and these requirements might interfere with a busy schedule.

All of that aside, there are good reasons to try growing plants from seed. For the price of one six-pack of plants you can have dozens, and it’s possible to grow unusual varieties that aren’t available in flats.

There are many times in life when we’re prone to choosing the sure thing over another option that might be more practical, less expensive or more expansive. What keeps us from going with the slightly more risky alternative that has a bigger payoff? I’d guess that it’s usually fear.

Don’t be afraid: once in awhile it’s very liberating to take a chance and put some seeds in the ground.

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