Yesterday was fantastic. A few weeks ago I mentioned to the Director of our college Horticulture Center that I was expecting seeds for 16 different kinds of heirloom tomato plants. He generously invited me out to start them in his facilities to give them the best possible chance of viability. Well with classes being as busy as they have been it took me longer than I would have liked to get over there but yesterday Kris and I made it. Finally. After a tour of the facilities (and quite a bit of jealousy on my part) we gathered around a work table and received instructions on just how they did things out there. It was quite an education.
The seeds were started in tiny trays, much tinier than I have ever seen.
After carefully labeling both sides of the tray we set about planting each of the seeds. I only had five of each seed (except for the black cherry, of that I had 10) and frankly was a little concerned about it. I've always gardened with a lot of excess. This works great for me because if I kill some off, I've always got backups. Rarely do I have to do precision work like this.
I expressed my doubts to the Director, admittedly a bit sheepishly.
"Well, I hope that they all go."
He looked up and declared, "Oh, they'll go!" And you know what, when someone makes that kind of declaration, I tend to believe him!
Kris (above) and myself (below) set about putting each tiny seed it's appropriate (and very small) depression. There was, as you might imagine, quite a bit of snickering which was quickly stifled because I swear it felt like if you breathed too hard, everything would blow away.
Once they were all in place, we decided to wait for the Director before taking the next step. Mostly because we had no idea what that step was. As we wandered around I took some great photos from the collection at the school. They have got some really amazing stuff over there.
In the end I had to run before finding out what that next step was although I was assured that it had something to do with some maneuvers that they probably teach you in horticulture school or possibly only if you join the secret order of the flora/fauna. A secret box was also mentioned which intrigued me greatly.
As we left to head back to school the director shouted after us. "Come back tomorrow! They may very well be up by then." And I tell you people. Today is tomorrow, I packed my camera, and after my next meeting, you better believe I'll be trucking over there to see just what is going on in that magic box. How could I not?!