The Chard! It’s Sprouting!

Pardon me for a moment while I examine my thumbs.
Well they certainly don’t look any less brown. And definitely not green by any stretch.

You see, I’m a plant killer.  Mass murderer actually.  Seriously.  I’ve killed ivy.

/me glances over at yellow leaves on office philodendron

But last year, in a moment of insanity, I ordered a little package of seeds from Emergency Seed Bank.  It was a free sample.  No, they aren’t paying me a dime to write about them, and the sample was not provided in exchange for a post.  I didn’t even know what I was going to get.

So a few days later, I received a little brown envelope that I didn’t even remember ordering because I’m on top of these things.  Inside was a a little silver package that said Swiss Chard on the side.

Um…  What on earth is Swiss Chard???  This, apparently.  Yes, I had to look it up.

Well, okay then.  Still not quite knowing what malady had tripped a random wire in my head to cause me to order seeds, I placed the packet on top of the aquarium.

The same malady also encouraged me to save seeds from some lovely farm grown tomatoes and from our very own backyard habaneros.  So those seeds went into a jar and an old 35mm film* canister, respectively.  And up on top of the aquarium they went.  It’s a large and currently uninhabited aquarium.

And you know what having 3 varieties of seed stored in the dining room leads to?  Google!  So the internet told me that I should start them indoors 6-8 weeks before the last freeze for my area.  I live in Oklahoma.  They don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow.   How am I supposed to know when the last freeze is going to hit?  Google doesn’t even know that!

Now, I’m intimidated.  But a guy at church who knows about these things said it was time.  So I headed to the hardware store for some Jiffy Mix seed starter stuff, because the internet said not to use regular dirt, and some kind of trays to start them in.  The aluminum drip trays from Weber sold in a pack of 10 for $5 so I went with that.  And last Sunday night proceeded to start my seeds.

I learned that it is much easier to label the trays before you get them full of moist seed mix. (Should have been a well duh, but I’m new at this)  Also, seed mix is not like dirt and does not absorb water readily.  There is a lot of mixing and squishing involved.  Oh, and Swiss Chard seeds look a bit like grape nuts and are kind of spiny.  I let them soak in warm water, as per the internet, while I planted 3 tiny trays of tomatoes.

Wet Swiss Chard seeds will stick to your fingers.  Probably would have been smart to drain them rather than use my dirty fingers to pick them out of the water where they were floating.  But I planted them in 2 drip trays of their own.  The internet said none of the seeds would need light until they actually sprouted, but they did need to be kept warm.  And so, into the master bathroom went the five trays along with a space heater and spray bottle so I could keep the whole mess warm.

And this morning!  Swiss Chard sprouts!  OMG!!  I’ve never grown anything from seed before.  And there are several worm looking sprouts coming out of my drip trays!  It only took 4 nights.  Of course, now I’m wondering what have I gotten myself into.  And really, Emergency Seed Bank, trusting me with the care and cultivation of dozens of baby plants?  That’s probably not the wisest thing ever.  I mean, plants in the nursery recoil in horror when I browse.

So, I guess we will see how it goes.  It might be wise to place your bets now on how soon I kill them.  They may not have much time.

It occurs to me that this post would be much better with a picture of said baby worm things, but I saw them before 7 this morning which is also before caffeine.  Thus, no picture.  I’ll take one when I get home.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll have infant tomato plants by then too.  Although, the internet says that will take a few more days.

I’m starting to feel ambitious.  I think I’ll plant the habanero seeds this weekend!  I promise better photo documentation of their planting process.

*kinda like a memory card except that it was one time use only and delete was forever.  And no previews.  Also, you had to completely fill it up before you could look at the pictures which required you send it off to someone that performed special alchemy to transfer the image to paper.  So really, nothing at all like memory cards.

Dear FTC:  They provided free samples to anyone that asked.  I asked; they sent.  Although, if Emergency Seed Bank is also afflicted with the insanity malady and wishes to provide me more seeds to expose to extreme peril and certain death for the sake of internet fame and recognition, I’d be happy to oblige.  I’ll disclaim accordingly if such madness transpires.

11 thoughts on “The Chard! It’s Sprouting!”

  1. soooo…want to come to my house to kill off the remaining bits of English Ivy that threaten to kill my garden every year?

    how about the honeysuckle that came back even though we dug out the main root?

  2. Nope,the weather service does not know what the weather will be this afternoon in Elk City. And I was working at a feed store, shifting flour sacks for ladies looking for dress material on bitter January day.

    An old maid school teacher came in, the first customer of the day, and the boss snapped to attention. She glared around at the idle men, as if to say “Hmpf, another pack of loafers.”

    “Yes, Mam, can I help you?” asked the boss.

    “Yass,” drawled the teacher. “I want to look at some mousetraps. A mouse got in my drawers and ate the fringe off my centerpiece.”

    We loafers instantly found urgent business in the warehouse. Out of earshot.


  3. Oh, Stranger, that’s one of the better one’s I’ve heard lately!

    Damn, if you could do this with plants you DON’T like, you could take care of this damned vine on the fence at daughters’ house.

  4. For what it’s worth, the average last freeze in this neck of the woods is during the last week of March, though it varies over about a seven-week range. (This is Oklahoma, after all.)

  5. Jenni, you may be able to kill ivy, but I can kill a silk plant. Hell, I can kill a plastic plant. If plants could write, they’d post a sign over my door that says “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

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