The Number One Gardening Secret for Better Production
This winter has been crazy-cold for most of the country—and certainly in our neck of the woods! Usually our comfortable growing season, this winter has sealed the fate of many of my plants (I had tomatoes freeze even after they had been moved into my shed!). There will always be set-backs to gardening—you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature, unless you grow indoors with something like an AeroGarden (We love ours!).
Talk to Your Plants.
Before you think I’m some crazy, hippie lady (I am kind of that, but I still bathe, I promise), hear me out.
There are certainly some fundamental things you need to understand about plants to be a successful gardener.
- Which plants need A LOT of water, which need less.
- How to fertilize.
- Composting gives you free fertilizer.
- There is a microcosm of bacteria and microscopic animals that help your plants grow.
- Your plants need certain amounts of sunlight to produce well.
- What certain viruses and fungi and pests look like.
- How pollination works.
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All of that being equal, I learn something new and come up against a new problem EVERY GROWING SEASON.
Why even bother with a garden then?
It is addicting, that’s why!
The first time you taste a real, homegrown tomato, the first rose you cut from your rosebush and set in a vase on your dining table, the first time you see your kids eating a carrot, while holding it from the stem, fresh out the dirt—the satisfaction, pride, flavor, and reflection of your growing journey is like some drug you want to taste over and over again!
But I’m getting side-tracked. You’re hear to figure out WHY talking to your plants is so good for them.
Let me tell you:
Talking to your plants forces you to check on them.
When you talk to your plants (silently or aloud), you’re looking them over. You can pinch off a stupid caterpillar here, add a little fertilizer there. You can pull a weed that’s threatening to take over your plant’s nutritional needs. You can add a little water, or note that the roots are too wet in your garden journal—and if you see a problem? (Yellowing leaves, wilting, weird spots, etc) You can DO something about it. There’s a reason we have the expression “”Nip it in the bud!”
2. Talking to your plants gives them good vibes.
Okay, I’m going hippie on you now. The soothing tones of your voice—especially female voices—make plants grow bigger and healthier. In a study performed by the Royal Horticultural Society, after a month-long study, plants that were read the same passage every day performed better than plants left to quiet, and grew almost 2 inches taller when hearing a female voice during that time! “We just don’t why. It could be that they have a greater range of pitch and tone that affects the sound waves that hit the plant. Sound waves are an environmental effect just like rain or light,” the researchers were quoted saying.
3. Talking to your plants helps you check their progress, resulting in better care, resulting in better production.
Starting a garden is a test of longevity. It’s about consistency, and as you watch the plants, and talk to them, and see their progress, you’ll learn little tricks and secrets of your own that are specific to a plant—even a cultivar—of different plants.
I know that my “Blush Artisan Tomatoes” are natural climbers and don’t really need much staking, just a wire trellis or fence, but my “Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes“ do much better when I don’t prune them at all, and just let them fall all over themselves. Their vines grow extra roots where they touch the soil, increasing production and producing a healthier plant. Nobody puts that on a label!
In short, check on your plants and speak to them everyday. Keep record of what works and what doesn’t. Google anything that looks weird—things like nutrient deficiencies can be corrected!
Good luck with your coming spring gardens! I’m chomping at the bit to get mine growing!! Don’t forget to follow my Gardening Board on Pinterest and YouTube Channel for help, tutorials, and a gardening buddy 🙂