My little tomato seedlings are coming along nicely. It will be quite a while yet before all danger of frost is past, and they can be planted outside. I don’t worry about tomato plants getting gangly, though. You can always plant extra stem length in the ground and new roots will sprout along the planted stem, giving the plant extra root resources.
The little seedling above is a Tomande hybrid I decided to try this year. The little leaves aren’t actually true leaves at all. They are called cotyledons. Cotyledons are sometimes referred to as seed leaves because they are actually part of the seed or embryo of the plant. The seed leaves serve to access the stored nutrients in the seed, feeding it until the true leaves develop and begin photosynthesizing.
It’s when the first true leaves arrive that the little plantlet begins to look darn cute, like a real little tomato! The seedling below, showing its first true tomato leaves is a Green Zebra baby.
I just learned recently that ‘darn’ is being elevated to ‘bad word’ status in certain circles, especially amongst parents of young kids. A little bit of googling turned up this post at iBeth: A New Curse Word, Darn It! I thought it was maybe just me that had missed the elevation of ‘darn’, but a poll of my daughters revealed that they had missed it too.
Of course, common word usage changes all the time. I once suffered through a long scolding lecture from my grandmother about using the term “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” The expression is a variation of “Heavens to Betsy” and was made popular by Snagglepuss, a pink mountain lion created by Hanna-Barbera in 1959. I picked it up watching TV, and apparently most adults found the expression perfectly innocuous. My grandmother was shocked. I felt indignant and wronged by her lecture.
I hope the young anti-darn parents are equally conscientious when it comes to teaching their children about respecting the natural world and standing up against polluters and over-indulgers who daily compromise the well-being of the planet where our children will spend their future. Snagglepuss indeed.