Thursday, January 24, 2013

Optimism or Addiction?

I've made a mistake. At every step of the way, I knew it was a mistake, but I kept walking.

It started with me honestly assessing a situation and making a rational decision.

I do not do well starting plants from seeds. I have a grow light. I have soil-less mix. I start seeds four weeks before I should need to start them. I put them in roomy pots so they don't have to be transplanted more than once. I sing them songs and do interpretive dance for them.

And they are underwhelming every year. Every year, the plants that I purchase are bigger, stronger, healthier, and more productive. I don't know what I do wrong, but I decided that I have to accept that this is something I do not do well.

Therefore, I will not buy seeds. Honest assessment and rational decision.

What happened next isn't really my fault. I was reading this blog, and she said she ordered all her seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I hadn't heard of them, so I requested a catalogue.

I begin walking.

It came in the mail this week. I look at it, and then I tell myself that I am saving myself from grief by not ordering seeds this year. It is freeing, I tell myself, this accepting who I am thing. I am not someone who does well with seeds, and therefore I buy plants.

It has flowers on the cover. A tiny voice in my head whispers, "Flowers are different than vegetables."

Another step.

I'll just have a flick through, but I'll only look at the flower chapter.

I pick up speed.

I'm not going to buy any seeds, but if I were, I could buy perennial flower seeds. Some of those can be direct sowed! It's completely different than trying to start tomatoes on the floor in the guest room.

I'm jogging now.

I'm not sure what it is about gardening, but it lends itself more to misplaced optimism than anything else I can think of. Every year, I believe things will be different. This year, I'm telling myself that the last two summers have been freakishly hot (true), and therefore we're due for a decent summer that doesn't make every plant pray for a quick death.

If insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, than is gardening insane? I try to tweak it every year, but I'm basically doing the same things over and over. Yet I still believe that this year will be different, better, more successful.

It makes me think of people battling addiction. Many of them know they're headed down the wrong path, but they can't seem to be able to stop walking. Maybe this is my form of addiction.

I haven't ordered any seeds yet, but there are several items circled in the catalogue.

I guess it's better than a crack habit.


  1. Definitely worse mistakes you could make! If you end up caving, good luck and hope your plants do well :)

  2. I get mine from Seed Savers Exchange, but I just plant mine outside. I have zero luck with growing them inside ahead of time. I kept covering my tomatoes when it froze and managed to get a pepper plant in there, so I may actually have one pepper plant that survives the winter. I shall name it Rambo.
    Flower seeds sewn outside are completely different than veggies inside and have to be cheaper than buying flower plants. (I think I'm the pusher in this metaphor.)