Unfortunately, I have to admit the first year of starting seeds indoors has been a flop. Not all is wasted. I learned some good lessons, like how long to keep the grow light on… I also managed to just direct sow a lot of my seeds when the indoor versions were taking too long.

The only big disappointment has been the five varieties of tomatoes I was trying to grow (pathetically pictured to the left). My focus this year was on old and ugly vegetables, so basically that means funky heirlooms. The tomatoes were certainly the highlight of that plan. It’s time to come to terms with the fact that they might never be ready to transplant outside. If it wasn’t the lack of light, my over-watering probably hammered in the last nail on their graves.

Laura over at the (not so) Urban Hennery gave me some good advice on adding fish fertilizer. (Try as you may Laura, I think they are too far gone.) I have never been one to actually buy and use fertilizer. Usually the chicken manure we accumulate does the trick for our plants. But this fish stuff does seem like a shot in the arm. The smell alone shows you how potent the stuff is. I could feel my nose hairs singe as I unscrewed the lid from the bottle. I used some outside and on the other, not-so-dying indoor seeds and everyone just seems a little more perky since then. Hurray for ground up, liquidized fish guts!

My fabulous Italian Cyprus might be dying on me, if it hasn’t already. That fabulous weekend we spent at the beach scorched the poor newly transplanted sucker when Portland’s temperatures soared in the 90’s. I set the hose from the rain barrel at the base of the plant a couple days ago, to route water directly to its roots. I even doused it with the diluted fish fertilizer. Not quite sure it’s dire situation has turned…

The most frustrating thing about killing this little guy is that I just hate having to buy the same plant twice – ya know? The poor replacement plant will be fearing for its life when it realizes it is actually not just a “new addition” to the garden, but rather a “replacement” for the dead, earlier version. I wonder if the other plants wait forever to introduce themselves. Like the death might be contagious if they cozy up to much to the new-comer.

Okay, that’s off topic. Anyways, send good plant karma to my tomatoes. It will be a sad day when I need to buy run-of-the-mill tomatoes from the nursery.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson