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About this time of the gardening season, which is still really early, our new plants are finally in the ground, the seeds have sprouted, and our mouths are already watering in anticipation of that first homegrown tomato. Unfortunately, our plants never seem to grow as fast as we would like, so allow me to offer a small dose of reality on what you can and can’t do to speed up the process. Take comfort in knowing that once our plants are in the ground, Mother Nature takes over, and it’s her timetable that dictates much of when our plants will be ready to harvest.
BHG009-Patience is a Virtue
About this time of the gardening season, which is still really early, our new plants are finally in the ground, the seeds have sprouted, and our mouths are already watering in anticipation of that first homegrown tomato. Unfortunately, our plants never seem to grow as fast as we would like, so allow me to offer a small dose of reality on what you can and can’t do to help speed up the process. Take comfort in knowing that once our plants are in the ground, Mother Nature takes over, and it’s her timetable that dictates when our plants will be ready to harvest. So just to let you know, here’s some of the things taking place shortly after planting that have to happen before we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
First, plants have to adjust to their new environment. No matter how good they look as you add them to your garden, the environment is different than from wherever they came. Light, soil conditions, and even the pH will vary, and plants have to adjust to these new conditions.
Second, there are a few key triggers that determine the speed at which your plants grow. Soil temperature is first. It has a lot to do with how quickly your plant responds to its new environment and starts putting on new growth, especially in the roots. Ambient temperature is just as important. That’s the air around your plant. Some plants, such as tomatoes, are greatly affected by the air temperature for how quickly fruit production occurs.
If you’ve ever grown tomatoes before, and wondered why the green fruit is just sitting there, not turning to red fast enough, well, it’s likely due to air temperature. If it’s too hot, or too cool, energy used for ripening fruit is diverted to other parts of the plant necessary for survival. And that’s the case for so many plants growing in our garden.
Sunlight, something we talk about so much in this podcasts series, is also a major factor in how quickly your plants grow. Sunlight is the fuel, which drives the engine of your plants. When it comes to growing vegetables, think of full sun, as hi-test, and shade as low-grade gas that might even have some water mixed in. With the cheap fuel, your engine might run, but it’s going to sputter a lot along the way. Racecar drivers use the best fuel they can get for peak performance. And in your case, harnessing the power of the sun will have the same effect in getting your plants to the finish line faster.
Hopefully, I’ve given you a bit of reassurance today, and reminded you that patience in the garden is required from us all. And when harvest time finally arrives, it really does make everything taste better! And take comfort in knowing, beyond providing the best growing conditions, there’s not a lot you can do to speed up the process. Well, there is one thing; start off with the best plants you can, like those you’ll find from Burpee Home gardens!
You an also take comfort in knowing that no matter how long it takes, we’ll be right there with you, every step of the way to help you have a great season. This is just one of 26 podcasts created to get you off to a successful start and provide helpful, weekly tips throughout the entire growing season. And to be sure you don’t miss a single, you can subscribe to this podcast series for free in iTunes. And for more ideas and inspiration any time, be sure to check out burpeehomegardens.com.
Now go get dirty!