I’m Not Stopping Because Some Seeds Died

Posted on Jun 11 2010 - 3:56am by Mike Lieberman

It hasn’t been a great week for my balcony garden. First the oak green leaf container was infested with little black eggs that I later learned was cabbage worm crap. Now my tomato seeds that were doing so well have all died.

I had each of them planted in a plastic strawberry container. Last weekend I went away from Friday to Sunday. When I left on Friday morning, the seeds were doing well. Three of the four seed starter pots were about 2-3 inches and had some leaves.

Before leaving, I watered them and decided to leave them outside. Upon my return, they were all dead. The next time I go away, I’m not sure if I should leave them inside or what to do. I’ll have to figga that out.

Fern from Life on the Balcony wrote a post that this reminded me of titled, “What Gardening Has Taught Me About Life.” Check it out, some great insight from Fern and by people who left comments.

What this has taught me is that I won’t let the setbacks in life stop me. I haven’t had the best of luck with seeds so far, but I’m learning and am now just one step closer to getting it right.

  • http://lifeonthebalcony.com Fern @ Life on the Balcony

    You might try using seed starting mix, it holds water better than regular potting mix. It looks like the mix you were using has a lot of wood chips in it, which is great for improving drainage, but not good for retaining moisture. Look for a mix that says it uses coconut coir, as peat is not sustainable.

    When going away for the weekend, I would move seedlings into the shade, or put them inside. June is really weird in CA, most of the time it's overcast, but we'll get occasional scorchers that can sap the life out of baby plants.

  • Sketchkat06

    Hey just after reading this I saw http://www.cheapvegetablegardener.com/2010/06/s… it sounds like a seed sprouting method you'd like.

    -M

  • Mike Lieberman

    Interesting. Thanks.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Soil of any kind has been the hardest thing for me to find here. There was a local ecology center in NYC that I used to get my compost and coconut coir based soil from. Haven't had such luck finding a place in LA yet. Need to search more. Any recos?

  • Sheila

    Starting from seeds can be tough. I've killed many many more than I have ever grown! Good luck next time. P.S. I was in Manhattan last weekend and it was hot!

  • Mike Lieberman

    Nice. Hope you enjoyed the city. I haven't had much luck starting seeds yet, but I eventually will.

  • Jennifer

    If you started them inside, maybe they died because they weren't hardened off and used to being outside with the bright sun & wind.

  • Praterclp

    This happened to me as well when I frist tried to grow things from seed. My problem is that I would tend to over water plants and I had to resist the urge. So when they were by the window I did not notice there was a draft so things were drying out before I would go to water them again. Once I realized this I would go back to watering more often and that was the wrong thing to do. I also did too many different types of seeds for my space so the air flow was not good and some plants got moldy which brought gnats. I know there is a fine balance with gardening, but sometimes it is too fine and you easily destroy things. Next year I am setting up a better seed station with better lights to hopefully alow my seedlings to live. I did get a few things from my seeds this season and they ar growing great (tomatoes are flowering, peppers already producing and I got spinach as well). Good luck and keep the vidoes coming they are always helpful to us beginners.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. I'm still a beginner as well. The funny thing about growing food is that it has become so difficult because of all the BS that we are surrounded by. If you look at nature and how, where things grow, it all handles itself. The way that the we currently live doesn't support it so well.

  • Cynthia

    You are so right about that. Look at the number of books that are out there telling you to do this and that, etc. I know that the land is different now that homes, buildings, etc. are put there, so the soil is not what it used to be, but I don't think the amount of stuff we have to do is necessary. It is truly a learning thing.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Definitely always learning and figuring out what works best for us.