I've always been mystified when people claim to not be able to cook--how hard is it to boil noodles or chop up a salad or put on a crock pot full of beans? I mean, you don't have to be fancy with food to be fed. But that gross incompetence is exactly how I feel about planting seeds. How far down in the dirt do you put the seeds, how much dirt do you put on top, how much water do you give them, how do you administer the water? My plants tend to range from desert parched to drowning. If you are at all comfortable with plants, you'll probably look at me and give me some very relaxed answers that make no sense to me. Or maybe you'll say something like for carrots sprinkle a 1/4 inch of dirt on top. I'll painstakingly try to follow the direction, with the same confusion of someone who doesn't know what a pinch of salt is.
Of course, the real issue is faith. Life wants to happen. It's incredulous that lettuce comes from a few sprinklings of feather-light seeds. I just can't wrap my mind around it. I think of the sun warming the soil, then adding a little water, and suddenly green is growing. I understand how photosynthesis works, but that's not what I'm really talking about. I'm less concerned with explanations than I am about the wonder that life happens at all. My plants need some faith that they will grow (and the love and attention that accompanies faith), and I'm bewildered that, in spite of my doubt, the seeds have taken root and little green shoots have sprouted up. Except for the nasturtiums; they've been in dirt for less than a week.
Practically though, I really would like some advice on how to tell how much water to give the little darlings. Already my poor lettuces are looking wimpy after their transplant.
On a slightly different note, I found the children's picture book Rose's Garden to be quite encouraging on my gardening quest. If you have kids it's definitely worthwhile, and even if you don't, it'll bring a little smile to your day.