Author: Luisa Perkins
•3:15 PM

When I went out to get the mail, the air felt like a caress, not a brutal slap. The Mets open their Spring Training schedule tomorrow, playing the Detriot Tigers down in Port Sainte Lucie. Though we are still wrapped in a (mushy) coverlet of white, spring is on its away!

Which means it's time to start some seeds. Not all of them--I won't start the tomatoes and the asparagus for another two weeks, and the bulk of the things I'm planting this year should be direct-seeded in the garden after the last frost (usually around Mother's Day where we are).
Here's what I planted today: rhubarb, huckleberries, bunching onions, artichokes, and cardoons. Just the smell of the planting mix (peat moss, vermiculite, etc.) brought a little breath of April into the kitchen.
My planting tray will sit on a heating mat until the seeds germinate. Then I'll take the humidity lid off and set up my grow light (just a fluorescent shop light on chains from Home Depot), so the seedlings will get 16 hours of cool light per day. I'm determined to avoid the dreaded Damping-Off Disease this year, as I've suffered heartbreaking losses in years past. Vigilance! Air circulation! These will be my watchwords.
Would anyone like the rest of my seeds? The packets usually contain far more than any normal gardener can use in a season. One can save the seeds in the fridge for next year, but I like to try new varieties every spring. I'd love for the remainder of this year's lot to have a good home; let me know, and I'll get them to you.
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