As many of my regular readers know, it's been about a month since we painted the deck. And while I didn't mention it at the time, we made one other purchase the day we bought our stain. In the entrance to the store were children's discovery type gardens. They were Sesame Street licensed window gardens. They chose the one that had Elmo and the other which had Ernie and Bert decorations. I believe the first garden was tomatoes and the second was peppers.
Since they were only a few dollars, we bought both of them for Kathryn to explore. Our worst case scenario would be that the plants died shortly after planting the seeds or didn't sprout at all. I was on an interview when Katie and Kathryn sowed the seeds in the little pots which were the size of bathroom paper cups.
My wife said the process was meant to be simple but a little bump caused her to improvise with one of the kits. Apparently instead of including dirt like one would have expected, the kits had these discs in that expanded when wet into some kind of mulchy, mossy soil substance. It seemed almost like dehydrated dirt which I found to be weird. Only one of the gardens worked as intended. The disks were placed in the containers and water was added to them creating the dirt. Next, they placed a seed or two in each pot. Katie said that in the kit which worked the disks expanded quickly.
The tomatoes were not as lucky. She ended up using regular potting soil for those. This was done around the first week in May.
It was amazing to see the contrast between the two gardens over the next several weeks. The top soil garden of tomatoes sprouted within four or five days and in two weeks there were some hearty sprouts while the peppers were just starting to surface at that point. Contrary to our initial expectations, the plants took root and grew.
What happened next reminds me of the saying, "In for a penny, in for a pound." We were shopping a few days later. We passed a seed display with the packets lined up in rows on the rack. Kathryn saw them and asked if she could pick another vegetable. We allowed her to select a flower seed packet and a vegetable seed packet. Kathryn chose some type of wild flower and pumpkins. We made the purchases and took them home.
Katie reviewed the packets a day or two later and I looked up from the newspaper to find her standing next to me. She said, "Do you know what kind of seeds our daughter picked?" I said, "Yeah, some flowers and pumpkins."
"Not just any pumpkins," she answered. "Look at the packet again."
She handed me the packet and sure enough, we weren't talking about the normal sized pumpkin. Kathryn grabbed seeds to grow competition 100 pound plus pumpkins. My jaw sagged as I thought about this more deeply. Katie re