Ha, right. As any gardener will tell you, it’s hard to have control over every factor that affects a plant’s growth. But it’s interesting to watch pseudo-experiments in action. Back in March I started many tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies from seed, and by April it was clear I’d have a couple dozen extra plants to give away. Fortunately, my boyfriend’s housemate has an interest in gardening, so he took several of my tomatoes and peppers and planted them mostly in containers in the back of their house.
Well, now those plants are doing even better than their brethren in my plot! The tomatoes, in particular, have really thrived in the large containers:
I’d estimate that the tomato plants at my plot are probably only 2/3 that size, even though they were started at the same time and had the same growing conditions for the first month or so. So what variables are making the difference, I wonder? The tomatoes in my plot get more sun, and probably have richer soil. But the tomatoes in the containers have gotten more heat, and have also been a lot more sheltered from wind, rain, pests, and soil-borne diseases. I’ll try not to be too jealous if my giveaway tomato plants end up producing fruit earlier than the ones I kept for my own plot.
Speaking of plant exchanges, I am very excited about the DC Plant Swap tomorrow, hosted by Washington Gardener magazine and the DC Urban Gardeners organization. I have a few extra seedlings that I’ll bring to exchange, including the Dr. Carolyn yellow cherry heirloom tomato that was savaged back in April but has since recovered nicely. I can’t wait to see what other people bring.