Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Bad Seed
I recently had a 100 percent failure with a packet of spinach seeds I had bought a few months ago. I planted them both in my raised beds and indoors in peat pots and and absolutely nothing happened. Zip. Nada. Since I remember having trouble with spinach before this, I was tempted to simply write spinach off the menu -- once again -- for the next year, and accept that I can't grow decent spinach here.
But since we're having a long spring, I decided to try again. I planted, and this time had about 100 percent germination rate instead of a 100 percent failure rate. Since the first batch of seeds were planted in two completely different environments (one temperate and one cool), I'm chalking my failure up to a bad packet of seeds.
This can happen with potted plants, bulbs, trees and other plantings around our homes and property. I don't think you can ever "call the game" on a particular type of plant until you've tried it two or even three times and it's failed.
Of course doing some detective work doesn't hurt either. If you think the soil is bad where you planted something, move it someplace else. If you believe weather might have been the culprit, wait until next year and move your planting date forward or back a few weeks or a month.
But bottom line, don't "call the game" on anything until you have made several attempts to grow something and failed each time. I'm glad I prevailed and bought that last packet of spinach that sprouted and took hold in the garden.
When you work the land, it's typical to blame yourself, but sometimes it's not you at all, it's just some bad seeds, bad mojo, bad moon phase or whatever else helps decide what stays and what goes in our gardens.