Don't Give Up Until the American Idol Sings

Remember how I told you about the potatoes that defied my Target bags and mulch and veggies? I've learned that this happens a LOT in the garden. Plants aren't given enough credit for being wild at heart. They know how to grow if we just let them. Don't overwater. Don't overmulch. Give them a little soil, sun and rain and THEY. WILL. GROW. (Most of them...some are persnickety...)

When I plant seeds, I sometimes feel like a 4 year old, peeking in the pots every single day waiting for little green sprouts. In a few days, when I see nothing, I start to think about reseeding the pot. Maybe they won't grow? Maybe they got too much sun...too much water...maybe not enough??? Then I remind myself to chill out and forget about it. After another week or so, the seeds sprout without anything from me. They know how to grow.

When I plant cannas and onions and other tubers and root crops, I often wonder if they are just rotting underground. I make my {very kind} husband take walk after walk around the yard each night searching for signs that the garlic is GROWING! At first, we see nothing. I force myself to stop taking walks. As soon as I do...there come the little leaves poking out of the ground!

A watched pot never boils.
A watched seed never sprouts.

I have given myself a rule of thumb on plants. It relates to reality shows. (Plants and Reality TV -- a classic pairing in my world...)

When you plant something, you have to at least wait until the Idol sings before you give up on it. Take a plant like the classic potato. It sometimes can take awhile for the stem to break through the ground depending on how deeply it has been planted. If you plant the potato on the first week of American Idol tryouts, you MUST wait at least until the American Idol is chosen until you completely give up on the plant. Now, your potato is NOT going to take 13 weeks to appear aboveground, but this thinking allows me to walk away and stop worrying. (Don't Make It Difficult!) If it is only Hollywood week, then I can't mess with the seeded asparagus bed for a LONG time, so I just leave it alone. Weed every once in awhile, but otherwise leave it alone.

If you are not a fan of American Idol, pick your reality show of choice.  The Voice is just getting going and So You Think You Can Dance will be here before you know it.  Just pick one and use it as an easy timer for yourself.

Hellebores blooming in Spring
A plant like Hollyhock blooms in its second year. If you follow the American Idol rule with seeds, you will plant your hollyhock seeds, leave them alone and then in 13 or so weeks, you should have a decent sized plant on your hands. You won't have blooms though. In this case, you must wait for NEXT YEAR's American Idol.

A plant like lettuce will sprout seemingly overnight. Wait until the American Idol sings, and you will have missed the harvest.

Do you get my drift?

Use American Idol (or the reality show of your choice) and consider the selection of the winner your date of no return, but be reasonable and know your plants. 

Be patient. Give the plants time. Don't mess with them.

Disclaimer: Sometimes plants rot in the ground. Sometimes the chickens eat them. Sometimes the birds will eat most of the seed. It happens. Don't stress. Plant more.


septembermom said…
I have to take your advice about watching the pot too much. My daughter and I are looking at this little pot that she planted with pansy seeds. She is waiting and waiting and waiting...
Kellen said…
I love what you said about feeling like a four year old... I just set up a grow lamp and got the whole seedling-tray-with-plastic-cover thing, and I was so excited to see sprouts after only 2 days.
But you're right... I'm very antsy about the forget-me-nots and foxgloves I just planted in the dirt outside. No sign of those.