Grow Write Guild #27: Loss and letting go in the garden
Friday, May 16, 2014
While losing some plants over winter is sad, it is not overly surprising. This spring I had a fair amount of plants die due to a lack of communication. Seeing their wilted, burned leaves when I went out to check on them one morning was like seeing your puppy smashed dead on the road. An unexpected and tragic end before their time.
The circumstances are hard to describe if you are not familiar with irrigation, but basically I had sprinklers running while two separate doses of fertilizer were applied to cropland that shares the same water mainline. I was not aware they were fertilizing and they were not aware that the fertilized water connected to the yard water in any way. It was just a sad accident.
I lost all of my slicer tomatoes that I had started from seed and my cherry tomatoes took a hard hit, but at least half of them survived. I will return to my pet analogy and say that the statement "just go buy some new ones" was as well received as telling someone to go buy a new puppy to replace the one that died. I didn't want new tomatoes, I wanted my old ones back!
Overall, this incident reinforced just why I start my own seeds. After driving all over to various nurseries in my area I had some plants to replace the ones I had lost, but they were not the same varieties I had carefully chosen from the catalog pages for their unique characteristics. The plants were not nearly as robust either.
Now that it is done and I have my new babies in the ground, I have perspective again. I let myself feel sad, but it is time to move on. I am glad for some new varieties to try---Green Zebra, Indigo Rose and a few other impulse purchases. I am glad to know that starting my own from seed is worth the effort, but if there is a crisis, new plants can be found and a new start made.
This post is in response to the Grow Write Guild writing prompt found here.