my first seedling

Starting Seeds

seedling 1seedling 3 seedling 2

A seedling has sprouted! I’m so excited. I got out my macro lens and photographed it from every angle. My tray label says Rossa Lunga di Firenze onions.

Hmmm. After cropping a few of the photos, it occurred to me that somethings is odd here. What do you think – a stray radish seed?

In any case, its still my first seedling of the year. Yippee.

While I was at it, I took a few macro photos of Skippy. At least I think that’s him under all that winter fur….

skippy 2 skippy

19 Comments. Leave new

  • Cool macro shots!

  • Yep, that’s definitely a dicot and onions are monocots. Did you get any component of your potting soil from your garden or compost pile? My seedlings are already outnumbered by “weeds” because most of my soil is from my compost-heavy community garden plot. So there must’ve been a lot of seeds in the soil (my guess is either weeds or green manure from the previous occupant).

    It very well could be that you have a seedling worth keeping, but bear in mind that it could just be a weed!

    BTW, thanks so much for the planting calendar! That has already been extremely helpful!

  • Hmm. My first thought was broccoli, but they look a lot like radish at that stage. Have you planted anything other than onion? Oh, I love a good mystery!

  • Its commercial potting soil, right out of the bag. And I only planted onions so far, three types. But its an old package of onion seed that I’ve used before. Maybe I mixed in something last time I used it. Broccoli would be nice.

  • I went and looked at it again. The seedling is really pretty small. I don’t see any non-onion seed in the onion packages. I suspect its a weed from the potting soil.

  • My first thought was: it looks like a newborn baby, not clean but beautiful…

  • Rossa Lunga is my favorite onion!

  • Skippy is a very handsome guy! Looks like he is watching over the new (alien) baby.

  • Seedlings are good, even if they’re not what you expected! Certainly not an onion, but fun to think of a mystery plant from compost.

  • That is an awesome shot!!

  • It will be interesting to see what comes of the unknown seedling.

    On another note, if you are using onions from last year they may have pretty poor germination. Onion seeds really only last a year. I would not give up on them though but if nothing pops up in a couple weeks you may want to pick up some fresh seed. Sorry for being the bearer of bad news.

  • Thanks Dan. I agree its not looking good. I planted these onions 7 days ago. There should be signs of sprouting by now.

    Once I read your note I ordered 3 packages of fresh seed. I looked for onion seeds at 3 local stores over the past week and its apparently not a local item. Only scallions are available on the racks. I did find some nice light weight seed starting soil. I’ll try again as soon as the new seed arrives.


  • OK, I love your photos, your dog and your composition. You can almost see the seedlings moving…and Skippy looks like he is miming them.

  • We love Skippy. My daughter and I regularly keep an eye on him and his rather incredible life.

  • envy envy — love your special lens. incredible. on hearing about the onion seeds lasting only one year, guess i should plant every seed and find some place to stick them!! good to know. last years leek seeds are a little spotty — if not very spotty so far. a few more days until i give up on them though. -sandy

  • They could very well germinate still. I just thought I would drop you a line about it so there is still lots of time left to reseed.

  • Amelia is right … you are looking for something that is bent over 180 degrees at the top … like a paperclip and they usually shoot up green. The unfurl once they break through the surface. Take out a tray and poke under and around the surface carefully to see if anything is there but not yet broken through the soil.

    BTW … I have to get a digital that will accept the mount for my old Vivitar macro-zoom which I paid a gazillion dollars for back in the late 70’s.


  • No matter what it is, nothing is more beautiful to the home gardener than the first seedling of the year.

  • Well, tonight’s report: Another weed, a different type, has sprouted. No onions are above the soil level yet. I used the plant labels to search about 1/3 of the cells and found about 4 onions sprouting. Soon I should have a few onion sprouts. But that’s a REALLY low germination rate.

    I’m glad I started a bit early. My new onion seeds should arrive soon (Monday or Tuesday). There will be time to get them going with my new potting soil. And I’ll throw all my old seeds in pots too, to get what I can from them. Next week should look better ….

    And next week I’ll start up some lettuce and thyme seeds too. And pick 2 varieties of tomatoes to see if I can get very early tomatoes this year. I’ve read gardeners have been successful with very early tomato planting (especially Marc at Garden Desk).

    But I am disappointed now with my weed sprouts….

    Paul, I have an old SLR lens like that too – Not so long ago but a whole different camera era.


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