Sunday, March 6, 2011

Trick Your Leafy Greens into growing faster

Plants for all they are worth grow extremely slow. But in the plant world you have your sprinters like bamboo and your really slow movers like cactus; one such variety is known to grow only 1 inch within it's first 10 years of life. I'm the I gotta have it now type of person; so when my leafy green veggies seemed to be stalling in my garden, I tried something for the first time. I took hay from one of my left over hay bales and covered them just enough for them to get some air and see speckles of green through the dense brown. Something amazing happened. In less than 48hrs all of those leafy green veggies pushed through the hay and it somehow jump started a growing spurt. (The picture shows greens pushing through, but two days ago there was more brown than green.) If you think about this it makes perfect sense. Plants like all life on this planet are struggling to survive, even the one that only grows 1 inch in it's first 10 years. (So Depressing!!) So couple that with the need to survive and grow strong and you have the perfect atmosphere for competitive behavior. This is only my assumption based on this one observation and it shouldn't be construed as fact. Nevertheless, if the right variables are in place you might achieve some amazing results and  this is what I did. My thoughts are; by covering the plants slightly it will put them in a state of panic as though they are being smothered. Another variable that was thrown into this equation was the fact that over the 2 days this growth spurt took place there was severe overcast. I am convinced that smothering these plants lightly caused them to grow faster. Now I know there are the nature gurus how say don't mess with nature and cause any imbalance, blah, blah, blah, blahhhhhhhhhhh.............. I got it. However, I grow to eat and enjoy and if there are natural ways to spurt growth production in living things we farm, I am all for it. I know I am not the first person to witness this, but if your growing this season and you feel like your leafy greens are lagging a bit, give them a shot of caffeine by throwing a light cover of hay over them.


becky3086 said...

It very well could be or I suppose it could just be because the hay kept the soil warmer and more moist.

ATW said...

Becky- That could be the case....however the past month we have had weather averaging in the mid to 60s and 70s thru 80s. With lows in the high 50s at night. Most days I have to water intensly just so my plants don't dry out from the intense sun. With the overcast that took place this past week it was the first time I didn't have to water. The Hay also retains moisture So that may be something to look at. I will have to conduct an experiment in a controlled environment. But its a really interesting find over the span of two days. Thanks for your input. I have to add this to my problem solving when I conduct a full blown experiment. Thanks:)