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Gardener’s Selection: The Cruel Process in Plant Growing

April 17, 2015

There’s an incredible satisfaction that comes with waking up to sprouts in your home garden.


Congratulations, you’ve successfully grown something in your garden!


Or so you thought.


Sprouting is only the beginning. Once the plants begin to sprout, you can begin to water them less. As the seeds have already germinated, they do not need as much water to survive. Since the plants are beginning to mature, they will grow more independently from here on out.


Seeds are essentially plant embryos. It should come as no surprise then that they are more self-reliant as they begin to sprout.


Self-reliant, yes, but also quite spoiled.


The plants you’ve been growing have been growing under exceptional circumstances. Perfect temperatures. Sunlight filtered from the window. No animals to disturb their growth. The perfect amount of water each day.


The plants have been coddled and introducing them to the regular life of a plant is the first step to healthy growth.


But before you can begin that, natural selection must play a role. By natural selection, I mean gardener’s selection.


You’ve probably noticed that not all of the sprouts in your seed trays look healthy. Keeping these weaker plants around can be detrimental to the health and growth of the stronger plants. As difficult as it can be to rid of the weak sprouts, it must be done.


Take the weak sprouts between your fingernails and pinch the sprout. Do not pull the sprout directly from the earth.


Gardener’s selection is a cruel but necessary step in growing plants.


Next comes the perfect temperature and filtered sunlight. Take the plants outside for about an hour or two. Do this for a few days. This will get the sprouts adjusted to new life outdoors. Since they will be living outside for the remainder of their life, it’s good to get them introduced to the climate while you can.


And so we begin to see which plants survive above the rest.

How is your garden turning out? Let us know in the comments down below.

*** If you are interested in gardening with us, we are at the Ithaca College Permaculture Garden — located in the Southeastern corner of Williams Hall — every Friday afternoon from 12:15–1:15 p.m. Shoot us an email if you have any questions at ***

~ Christie Citranglo

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