Last Friday I received an express shipment from Territorial Seeds of six live seedlings. They were well-secured within their package, but after three days without light or water they were looking very sad indeed.
I ordered these seedlings – three heirloom tomatoes, a pepper, an eggplant, and lemongrass – back in January when I was much less aware of how easy it is to grow my own from seed and/or buy interesting seedlings locally. I assumed that if I wanted something exotic like a Red Currant or Chocolate Cherry tomato seedling, there would be no way to get it but through the mail. But there are three things I’ve learned since then:
- Starting plants from seed is relatively easy.
- The garden stores and market vendors have much wider variety than I’d expected.
- My fellow community gardeners often have extra seedlings to give away (I’ve given away almost two dozen myself!).
Ordering plants in the mail, on the other hand, means you get plants that look like this:
The seedlings definitely perked up after I planted them and gave them lots of water. But they were also root-bound, having been planted in teeny tiny shipping-friendly containers. Next year I’ll try not to be so fixated on specific varieties and take a more laissez-faire approach. Whatever seedlings they have at the market or at Johnson’s, or whatever the other gardeners have extra of, I’ll gladly put into my garden. And if there’s something I REALLY want, I can just grow it from seed.