I have watched small children and even tried to help them plant seeds to grow up to be everything for beans to marigolds to sunflowers. Their hands are small and fine coordination is lacking and their enthusiasm makes everything spill and water pour too hard and seeds go to deep. When the leaves appear and the plant grows on I am not sure who is more excited, me of them. Certainly I am amazed at how the enthusiasm has succeeded over careful manipulation and my years of practice.
When you look out our living room window you can see a bird feeder hanging from a branch of the pine tree. It is visited by all sorts of birds from chickadees to a woodpecker that seems to think the peanuts are his. Often the chickadees in particular will hold on to the feeder and sort through the fare for sunflower seeds, meanwhile throwing aside all sorts of other goodies to the ground where there is already scattered other birdseed for the juncos, mourning doves and bluejays. Every summer some kind of grain tries to grow there as well as sunflowers and other plants. One or two tend to start in among the potted plants that grow on the patio next to the feeder. Mostly the deer tend to nip them off, but the plants are growing well most of the time before that.
No one planted them or gave them special soil. They fell as nature intended, moved by some birds and missed by others. Possibly some moved through the animal's digestive tract although I have seen little evidence of that.
Yet we worry about sowing seeds indoors for fear that they will not grow or they will collapse. Too much water may be given or too little. Questions arise of light and potting mixes and temperatures and if a cold frame is needed and what to do with it. Much of the time we worry we stand beneath a pine tree reaching 50 feet into the air. Only God or Mother Nature or happenstance have planted it depending on your point of view and even God just threw out some seed and stood back to see what would happen.
It is good to do our best to try and get things right and start our plants off as best we can, but it is also good to remember that we garden because it is fun. We start plants from seed because it is not something we wish to agonize over but rather something to enjoy. It is another step in the progress from empty soil to flourishing flowers and delicious vegetables. Plants like to grow. Seed likes to be sown. Just relax and enjoy. Something will grow.
Darrell Feltmate has been an avid gardener and home landscaper for over thirty-five years. Composting and making compost bins both temporary and permanent have been an important part of that gardening as has experimenting with various plants and growing techniques. He enjoys bringing that excitement of watching plants grow and assisting in their growth while also looking at the gardens of others. A lot of his enjoyment and experience can be found at his website, http://mylandscapegardening.com.
Article provided by Darrell Feltmate