I answered my work phone to my neighbor’s agitated voice. “Everything in your greenhouse is dying,” he said. “We’ve gotten as much as we can out, but a lot of it is gone.” Weather forecasters had predicted that the day would be cooler and overcast, so I didn’t set my thermostat for the greenhouse fan to turn on and cool it. But the spring day had turned out to be sunny and unseasonably warm. Without the fan running, the temperature in the greenhouse soared unbearably, and hundreds of tender seedlings were baking to death.
After getting home from work, I nursed the surviving seedlings back with lots of water and cool shade. Thank goodness my neighbors looked in on them; otherwise, I would have lost everything. As it was, I lost about half.
Disheartening? Absolutely. But such slip-ups are part of learning. Since that day, once spring temperatures start rising, the greenhouse thermostat is always set for the fan to cool it down.
I long for the day when my vegetable and flower gardens are perfect, in that Martha Stewart sort of way — everything perfectly spaced; no trace of weeds; an abundant harvest; and no greenhouse mishaps. That’s not happening, because growing takes patience, not perfection.