My Minions

Last year I wrote about my difficulties with starting vegetables from seed. Two things have made me more confident this year: my success with my tomato starts last summer (which out-performed the plants I’d ordered) and the excellent advice that Linda offered last year. All year I’ve been pondering her advice, plotting my new seed-starting setup. With a husband as adept at hanging lights as mine is, it seemed that I ought to have an excellent seed-starting area without too much trouble.

And with his help, I now have a spacious shelf, high above the reach of small children, flooded with overhead light. I’m very excited about this. I’ve already started my tomatoes, celery, thirty pepper plants, and twenty-four brassicas. (A third of those are brussel sprouts — I’m absolutely determined to have my own brussel sprouts this year.) Since my shelf is right by the back door, I have plenty of opportunities during the day to stop by and hover over my little ones. “Grow, my minions!” I tell them. This is what my lab partner used to say to his yeast cultures.

The kids are not hugely interested in the baby plants, since I won’t allow them to poke at them. But they did help me fill my pots with potting soil — almost every single pot I own. Once they got started, there was significant momentum to keep digging. The remainder of the potting soil has been sitting out in our wheelbarrow ever since, getting occasional visits from one or both kids.

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