Seedling I.D.

(from left) Turnip, radish & kale – anyone who tells you that they can see a difference is lying.

When I sowed the game cover, the thought occurred to me that I might not be able to identify the plants which grew. This first game cover project will hopefully serve to show me what will do on the Chayne and what won’t, so if I can’t even identify what (if anything) takes to the ground, the exercise is wasted in part.

With an unusual amount of foresight, I decided to make things easier for my future self by taking a seed from each of the acre packs of radish, turnip and kale and planting them in a seed tray on my windowsill. I labelled each little compartment and relaxed with the smug thought that I could use what I learnt from growing seeds in a controlled environment out on the field.

After ten days, I have come to the conclusion that I should stop trying to be clever. The promising seedlings all look precisely the same as each other, and by the time that it’s possible to differentiate between them, it’ll be perfectly obvious which is which. My dim, distant days as a biology student have stirred up the extremely pleasing word “dicotyledonous” to describe the little plants – I understand that the word is entirely appropriate in this context, but it makes me marvel at the fact that it’s been rattling around in my head unused for fifteen years, only to pop out when it was finally needed.

In the meantime, the recent (and ongoing) rain is drawing young plants out of the soil like a magnet over iron filings. The bee mix seems to be coming on the strongest so far, and some of the triticale is already three or four inches high. The main mix is just starting to show through, and it’s all looking extremely promising.

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One thought on “Seedling I.D.

  1. Panic not, what you see are the cotyledons, not the true leaves which will appear in a bit. What you see are essentially parts of the embryo and photosynthesize enough to kick start the plant into action. Differentiation should be easier in a little while

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