What gardener doesn’t love the seed-starting season? THIS ONE.
Dang, it’s true. Perhaps I need to shell out a few hundred bucks for some hours of deep on-the-couch analysis, but…I hate the tyranny that is indoor seed-starting. I think I always have, consciously or not. Unlike other garden-related tasks that are both necessary and at least as messy, the whole lights/dirt/action dealio really is not my bag. With each year, with each modification I make to the process (mostly to ease my annoyance, not necessarily the betterment of the seeds), the less I really like it.
So, I ask myself what I can do to get around this dislike. I have NO problem with starting seeds out of doors, and I even look forward to starting seeds in the greenhouse. Problem is, quite a few plants like both more light than is provided by the greenhouse at this time of year, and most seedlings dislike the temperature swings the greenhouse still goes through daily. But I do ask myself: what’s the flipping hurry? Why chain myself to the expense, mess and agitta of fluorescent lights?
Because I LIKE the allium family, the solanaceae family. Alliums, in the form of storage onions, have this unmovable growth pattern that is tied to the sun: they bulb up the best when there’s the most daylight, so every day is a march toward that date, and the earlier you get marching, the bigger and better the plants will be. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, and okra like a nice, warm seedbed befitting their near-tropical ancestry. It is quite true that I could start these heat-lovers in the greenhouses themselves in late April, and just expect a later harvest. But storage onions and leeks, no, these babies require those lights.
I just need to get over it, don’t I?