August 24th, 2001

bundled up, walkabout, snow

I am a Plant Wuss

So, there are vegetarians who don't eat meat because of an argument which states that raising animals for food is less efficient of our planet's resources.

There are vegetarians who don't eat meat because they care about animals, and they don't like both how food animals are treated while they are alive, or the thought of killing them for food.

There are some carnivores that think of vegetarians as wusses. I generally don't, but...

Me, I'm a plant wuss.

I've never been successful at raising food plants. I can germinate seeds with the best of them. I can take care of the seedlings according to instructions and allow them to thrive. I can transplant them to a pot without killing them off.

And then they start to grow. A little jumbled mess of vegetable matter. All twisted together and stretching toward the sun, making pretty leaves...

And that's where I fail. I can water them, turn them to see the sun from different directions, but I can't

thin them.

Imagine. Pulling up perfectly healthy plants. Killing them off for no good reason, except the health of other plants. How can I bear it?

I grew baby carrots when I was a teenager. They grew up all twisted around each other, deformed by my unwillingness to thin them.

I planted catnip a few weeks ago. I transplanted them successfully to pots. I've been looking forward to the plant being mature enough to snip some leaves for Werthers. The instructions, after the part about thinning them (which I, of course, ignored), said to wait until the plants were 8" tall to snip the leaves.

That's when it hit me. My little lively clusters of thriving leafery would never reach 8 inches -- they were sharing soil with too many siblings.

Jessica thinned my plants for me. Even she couldn't bear to thin one of the pots down to only two plants.

I've got a bunch of fresh catnip now. And maybe the remaining plants with reach maturity.
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