Real Gardens

Why I Hate Seed Starting

I do it anyway, because I'm fussy about varieties.  But man, one false move…

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…like forgetting all your seedlings in a beating rain, and months of babysitting can add up to nothing.

Posted by on May 14, 2010 at 9:45 am, in the category Real Gardens.
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17 Responses to “Why I Hate Seed Starting”

  1. Chani says:

    Ugh! I know the feeling. I left a few of my seedlings outside, and by some freak accident they overheated and flopped over dead. Where are the hardy seedlings when you need them?

  2. Oh the carnage. I just picked up a bunch of herbs and marigolds (all of which I could have started from seed) from a local nursery. I killed way more than my fair share of basil seedlings this year by forgetting to bring them inside or water them at all. At $2 per 6-pack size basil container it was well worth it!

  3. Liza says:

    Ouch! So sorry for your loss.

  4. It ain’t much easier starting seeds in the ground. Damn rolly pollies.

  5. Daryl says:

    And I love planting seeds because of the adventure. There’s nothing that beats seeing the tiny hairpins of tomato seedlings pop up and grow into 6′ tall, productive plants, or the almost-invisible Petunia seeds turn into “real” plants.

    I guess I was “warped” by my mother and grandmother, who started hundreds of seeds every year. I think I sowed my first seeds when I was 3. Magic!

  6. CommaHappy says:

    Know the feeling. I put a tray of zinnia starts out for some sun and came back out to find them scorched and wilted. Hopefully they will recover. ;)

  7. Ficurinia says:

    I hate protecting them all from cat-tastrophes. No matter how high I place things, they always get knocked over and stepped on, or jumped onto. One cat kept jumping up onto a shelf to eat my baby bottlebrush grass and I couldn’t figure it out until one day I caught her in the act. Ugh!

  8. Swimray says:

    Anyone actually step on their own seedlings as they lie on the floor in a sunny spot? My sunniest here is right in front of french doors – emphasize ‘doors’ as is in a path to walk through.

  9. Li'l Ned says:

    Aiieeeee — yes! Between the universally crazy late spring-early summer weather common to normal climates, we have the added complication of a planting window so short (because of our dreadfully short growing season) that if said seedlings are roasted, drenched, eaten, frosted or otherwise done in, there isn’t time to start new ones. And replacement versions for the tender things with maturity dates short enough to actually bear fruit or flowers in our 85-90 day sort-of frost free season are never available at local nurseries.

    I spend April, May and June in a state of near-constant anxiety, hovering like an overprotective mother over all my dainties. last year, despite my best efforts, a humongous hailstorm smashed everything flat. Arg!!!!

  10. Elizabeth S. says:

    Not to mention when you forget to put the Sluggo on your tomato and cucumber seedlings and suddenly one morning they are slimed to the ground.

  11. lisab says:

    RABBITS! anyone. Ate every single, beautifully hardened-off plant to the ground.

  12. IDMike says:

    So glad to hear we aren’t the only ones killing basil this year. We’ve also frozen all of our seedlings once when we forgot to bring them in at dark. Then today we nearly scorched them by forgetting to open the greenhouse. At least we’re finally get some of them in the ground where they’ll be slightly safer. (except, of course, for the bugs, squirrels, slugs, dog, etc.)

  13. Gene says:

    Ditto to all! I now blend a bit from seed/tubers, and am happy to support my local nursery and buy the rest.

    Idea/Re-use: I recently “inherited” another dog, and with her came a dog crate. I’ve never crated, and thought “yet another thing to cram into the garage”…when it occurred to me that I could incarcerate my young and tenders, protected from the squirrels my neighbor loves to feed. As much as I’d like to chicken-wire the world, I don’t because I’d rather deal with loss than look at all that fencing. But at least en-caged in the crate, my soybeans and other sprouties will have a fighting chance, at least until they are paroled into the big bad world.

  14. Jen says:

    One thing I learned this year is how crucial timing is. I started my tomato seedlings too early. They’re outgrowing their pots and it seems to early to put them in the ground. Everything is yellowing. A few of my squash seedlings seem to be damping off, but they were fine a couple of weeks ago. Really gotta be careful about counting back from that last frost date!

  15. CindyP says:

    Rain, frost, rabbits, slugs, mildew, even hail….that’s what I battle every spring. I bought a pop up cold frame and it has helped a lot, but I have to remember to zip it open in the morning and zip it closed in the evening.
    Someone asked me if it wouldn’t be easier to buy seedlings. I said if I was looking for easy I would just buy my veggies at the farmers markets.

    It’s a labor of love!

  16. Aunt Ida says:

    Lost about 1/4 of my seedlings to damping off this year. I’m blaming the potting soil….

    When I put little tender things outside, I set a kitchen timer to go off when it starts to get dark or is expected to cool off.

  17. beth says:

    WIND… an unexpected windy day shredded my tomatillos!

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