Gardening season came early to Boulder. With very little snow and record breaking high temperatures my little spring plants hardly know what to do with themselves. With all this growth comes my least favorite part of gardening - thinning.
When weeding you know exactly what doesn’t belong and there’s no guilt over ripping out the unwanted. You didn’t plant it there. You don’t like what it will become. And it is taking up space that could otherwise be used for something beautiful or delicious (or beautifully delicious).
Thinning is a different story. You planted the row of seeds. You watered it and fretted a bit over whether the seed was too cold or too hot or getting too much or too little water. And it was exciting to see that first little shoot pop out with the promise of a tasty meal down the road. But as time goes on so many of your seeds sprout so closely together that you have to make hard decisions like who lives and who gets ripped out to make room for the neighbors.
I hate making those hard decisions. However I’ve learned from gardens of years past that if I don’t thin out my seedlings I end up with small, oddly shaped vegetables that never fulfill their true potential. So with a heavy heart, I head out to the garden like judge and jury to decide the fate of my spring crop. And even though I feel terribly guilty while thinning, the reward of having a beautiful harvest of veggies that are pretty enough to take a photo of before devouring is worth it.
I’m feeling a bit of a need to do some thinning outside of the garden too. Not weeding where I know exactly what I don’t want in life. But thinning, where I need to reconsider what I’ve purposefully brought into my life. Thinning in the budget, thinning with commitments, thinning with goals. Hard choices, but made in the spirit of focusing my time and energy (and sun and water) on something that will flourish.