Heir to the Throne

COMING THIS SPRING: Twelve seeds were planted. Only one survived. Dun dun dunnnnn.

Ten days ago, I planted twelve sungold seeds I’d saved from last year into a little plastic container filled with soil. After a week of fretting that nothing was happening, sometime last night, a stem emerged from the ground: the (potentially) only heir to our sungold family lineage.

I’m hoping against hope that more of them sprout up over the next 48 hours or so, that this week’s cold and rainy weather has simply made these little guys run in slow motion. I’m not sure what the odds of any given sprouted plant have of surviving, but given the fact that we’re first-time parents, I’m worried that they’re not particularly good. It’d be nice to have more than one shot at it. But if this is the only plant we’ll get, then dammit, we’ll give it all we’ve got. It’s currently got a front-row seat in the sunniest south-facing window of the house.

What you’re looking at right now is a cotyledon, essentially the first growth which shoots out from the plant’s seed. Isn’t it remarkable how much larger the sprouted plant already is than the seed itself? Tomato plants are dicots, meaning that they have two embryonic leaves, as you can see in the picture. These are not yet truly tomato plant leaves, as they are present in the seed prior to germination (as opposed to growing after the seed germinates), but they are photosynthetic, meaning that as soon as they open up, they’re in charge of supplying the growing plant with energy. That’s why it’s important that they get immediate sunlight.

It looks like there’s some sun in the forecast for tomorrow and Friday, which hopefully is the case. I don’t really feel as though it’s proper to run an indoor fluorescent light just to develop this one plant. It’s going to have to grow naturally or not grow at all. Hopefully the little guy’s hardy. Things happen quickly in the springtime, so there’ll be plenty to monitor in the coming days.