"No self-respecting gardener buys seedlings." Mrs. Gintet exhaled in her distinctive huff.
Blame her challenge for leading my poor seedlings to an early demise last spring. Or, one might argue, in my haste to become a gardener, I bit off a bit more than I could chew and the fault lies closer to home. Potato, po-tah-toe.
Either way, in an effort to add some greenery and perhaps some truly locally sourced food to my diet, I purchased squash, yellow squash, lettuce, and tomato seeds and the necessary accoutrements for a garden. Then one under-whelming April day in the bedroom of my thirteenth floor New York City apartment a quick read of blogs on seedling success (e.g. Seed Starting Simplified) fortified my unsteady hand as I poured moistened potting soil into each cup-like planter. A few seeds into each planter and another protective coat of soil was the simple part. Even remembering to dutifully spritz them each morning for a month wasn't bad. But after the rapid rise and significant height of the seedlings, to see them die within 24 hours of transplanting them into a larger plot of soil was quite disappointing. I hadn't paid enough heed to the instructions on precise temperature ranges (must be kept 65-80 F) and I assumed the sunlight gently coloring my room would suffice (it didn't). It turns out, the height was more a sign of lack of good sunlight than of any success.
After mourning the swift death of the plants I had coddled for a month, and nursing my wounded ego, I purchased some healthy blooming seedlings from a local store and ultimately enjoyed a great crop of squash, yellow squash, lettuce and tomatoes.
And onto this year. I have scaled my ambitions as a gardener back this year. I purchased a "self-watering garden in a jar" with cilantro seeds. I just planted them. I don't have to move another muscle. Updates to come.