Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nature's Foreplay

Here in my little corner of the world we are somewhere in the vicinity of 9 weeks before the last winter frost, and as I assimilate the meaning of this projection I tingle with anticipation. For dedicated gardeners, this is the season of Nature's foreplay - torturous and delightful.

I am blessed with a south-facing full-glass sliding-door and so I set up my shelves there and begin my seed-starting efforts. Today I started two little flats each of celery and celeriac. The seeds of both are tiny, though not the tiniest that I've worked with. To give you a sense of scale, the spoon you see here is neither serving spoon nor soup spoon, it is a tea spoon.
I make slight depressions in the center of each planting cell with a chop stick - my seed starting magic wand. In that depression I gently drop, with a blessing, about three of those celery or celeriac seeds.
I lightly shift the starter soil to barely cover the seeds and water them in with a gentle dribble. Now ... I wait. I wait not only for these sprouts to make their appearance, I wait to start planting more. I think tomorrow I'll start some leek seeds, and the day after some onion, and the day after maybe some cabbage for an early planting - though that may be pushing it. I may have to hold myself back.

A little strategic seed starting every day this early in the season helps to temper - for me - the torture and the delight that I experience as winter begins this shift to spring.