The beginning of April shows the smallest seedlings and a few beansprouts coming up through the soil in my planters by the patio door. I plant new seeds every weekend, and have run out of seedling containers. I have two egg cartons left to fill and then I have to run to Home Depot to pick up a new seed-starting tray. I need the kind with the clear plastic lid, because two of my rat boys – pets: Dweezil and Archie, and occasionally Waddy – take a stroll on the shelves where the seedlings are.

This is actually a problem: they could steal and eat a sprouting seed, they could trample a fragile sprout or dig it up, or they could just plain knock something down. I try to use the curtain to barricade them from getting to the shelves from the bookcase; I’ve moved the chair from reaching range. I could also sequester them, but that’s not going to happen – my house is pretty open-concept, and they only get sequestered in my bedroom or the bathroom. (Yes, they do have cages, but I only lock them up part-time.)

Even take-out containers do the trick

It appears I have misplaced my saved tomato seeds, and so I have decided to buy seedlings, as most sensible gardeners do, rather than seeds to start them out. It makes economic sense to buy seedlings because you know that they’re going to be healthy, vigorous, and, for those who care, properly identified. I am also counting on volunteer plants to show up again, just like they did last year.