Sometimes not all the seeds you plant, come up. You didn't do anything different. You haven't angered the gods. They just didn't come up. Maybe the seed was old? Maybe the weather wasn't right. Maybe.... It can be everything from upsetting to mildly confusing. This last December it happened quite a bit. At first, I was confused and then moved on to upset. I would go and crouch over the seed lines then look up at the sky or stare into the distance. Or, I would take my hat off and scratch my head like that might wake up a thought or explanation. It never really does. And, part of what makes the whole situation difficult is that you don't know anythings wrong for a couple of weeks. And then, after you do know something is wrong; how do you fix it? The soil is too moist to run the seeder back through and if it didn't come up the first time, why would it come up the second. Should you re-prepare all the beds; even though some seeds did come in some areas?
I don't rototill areas as quickly as I should. Often, there are plants that are left alone: ancient Radish Bohdi trees, huge dill plants like apartment buildings for lady bugs, cabbage crash pads for lizards and Carrot flower search lights. I never really had a reason for this other than there is so much to do and rototilling old beds is not a top priority. So, this year while I was scratching my head and staring off into the distance my eyes focused on hundreds of little lettuce volunteers gathered at the feet of 6 week old broccoli transplants. These volunteers had been drafted by the December rains and I could tell that they were a hardy bunch. I gathered up a hundred or so and went to the areas where I had the Hillbilly teeth germination (Lots of gaps) and plugged them in. It worked and I thought well, I wonder what else Volunteered. As, I walked around the farm I noticed dill, collards, kale, fennel, carrots and cillantro. So, I began slowly relocating these wayward plants and using them to fill in the gaps. They took off almost immediately. In fact, other than the plants the gophers stole every one of the volunteer transplants survived and thrived.
Day dreaming today while transplanting dill volunteers into a failed carrot patch: I thought about a farm where things were deliberately left to go to seed. Not to harvest the seed but rather to return to later and transplant. Even crazier thoughts about a farm where things aren't planted in lines or beds but rather allowed to grow where they choose to grow and I just weed in between. Whatever happens, I am grateful for the help.