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I Kill Vegetables in My Spare Time

Saturday, I filled up the EarthBoxes and sowed some seeds. Erring on the side of having a rational plan, I cobbled together an idea than ran thus: rather than germinate seeds into seedlings beforehand, because that is so another step in the process, I would try sowing them directly into the container. EarthBoxes are glorified planters, so this shouldn't be so different from trying to grow a seed in a pot. Since San Francisco doesn't frost over (we're a little like certain supernatural locales that way), I don't have to worry about frost, and obsessive-compulsively reading Weather Underground indicates that the tail end of winter is in the high 40s overnight and reaching 60 in the day, or what the seed packets seem to suggest are the ideal sowing temperatures of nearly everything. Of course, I've heard that all manner of American rodents have said winter should last at least another month, and people sow stuff during spring-ish, and the other coast of the United States is kind of still snowing.

I had an itch and needed to scratch it, okay?

So I had this further clever plan about bringing the EarthBoxes in at night, to protect the seeds from the cold. This, I thought, would surely help the seeds germinate. I mean, theoretically, the boxes all have coasters. I also read that portion of the manual that said each box, when filled, was approximately 80 pounds a piece, but I thought I weighed 80 pounds for about 20 years, that's not so bad. The coasters do make it easy to move around the EarthBoxes, especially if you need to catch the dying rays of the winter sun all over your deck, but lugging them over even the minor bumps set into the back door is pretty troublesome. It's also inevitable that you will spill muddy water through the overflow outlet in the centre of the box. This was not one of my brighter ideas.

After two days of nailbiting, one night of lugging in the boxes and lugging them out the next morning and Googling sentences I should know the answer for but don't in a black-thumbed panic, like, "Will seeds germinate when the temperature is right?" I am starting to get a little worried about whether my seeds plan to sprout at all. Answer from Seth: "This isn't Harvest Moon." Logically, I know that. I know I should give it at least a week. The weather's getting warmer. Weather Underground even has a 75F day forecasted later this week. Oh, god, what have I done?!

Current plan: Wait a week. See if anything sprouts. Have backup plants germinating in egg cartons, hopefully, unless I mess this up too.


Feb. 21st, 2012 08:45 am (UTC)
We are blessed with a peculiarly warm micro-climate here in SF, more so in the Mission, which is a warmer district than most. It's why I kind of had this itch to begin with. The US Hardiness Zone website claims our planting season starts in mid-February, and some other place puts it in March. Since we've also apparently had a warmer and dryer winter than usual, there's still hope.

I tried planting everything, since I'm not lacking seeds: Vietnamese mint, basil, tomatoes, carrots, shiso leaf and snow vegetable. Based on a blog I read, for a guy based in Hawaii, shiso leaf actually could need really warm weather to sprout, like high humidity, mid-spring/early summer weather. Based on watching my mom grow things, the same may also be true of the tomatoes and basil. The one that will really boggle me if it doesn't sprout is the snow vegetable. When I lived with my mom, we couldn't get rid of the snow veggies. They sprouted everywhere on their own, and if I remember right, in about this weather.
Feb. 21st, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
ugh, shiso was the hardest for me to get going last year. I did much better with the baby plants from Hmart. Shiso seeds definitely need warmth and sun, and there should be no dirt covering it. By the time my shiso seeds finally sprouted, half of the summer was gone.
Feb. 22nd, 2012 07:17 am (UTC)
Yeah. Still hoping some shiso magic happens. I don't entirely know where I might find seedlings otherwise, though there is one local store within walking distance that has unusual plants before, including wasabi roots.