After only four days, the mesclun seeds have started to sprout.  How can I tell that the tiny, two-leafed micro-greens are the lettuces we planted and not opportunistic weeds?  I can tell because we planted the mesclun in neat and orderly rows that provide clear visual confirmation of where the seedlings should be.  A weed could conceivably root itself within one of the rows but it is extremely unlikely (and if the weeds were to appear in rows, I would be worried).  To my mind, this differentiation is a very good reason to plant in rows.

Another reason is that planting in rows makes the weeds which pop up everywhere else that much easier to pull out.  This is true enough when weeding by hand (as we do) and especially critical for those who use hoes or other tools.  In larger gardens and on farms, planting in rows facilitates access—by foot or by tractor—but this is less a factor for us (we can reach everything from outside the planter).  The main reason for me, probably (okay, definitely), is aesthetics.  I simply love the look of the imposed grid, the feeling of intentionality it gives me (purpose versus chance) and the defiant (if futile) statement of order it presents in an otherwise entropic world.

Elsewhere in the garden, the Sun Gold tomato plant has already blossomed, the first round of many, it is hoped.  Also, some of the pea shoots have already found the trellis with their tendrils.  I am always impressed that plants always seem to find their way to their supports without the benefit of eyes.  I rarely have as much luck when I flail around in the dark.