Growing plants is an excellent way to spruce up your property. Although not everyone is born with a green thumb, growing healthy plants is easier than you think. Below is everything you need to know about growing plants in Williams County.
The Stages of Plant Growth
One of the most important things to remember about plants is that they are alive. They may not walk around like other living things, but they rely on adequate water and food for survival. They can also suffer from various diseases as they age.
The life expectancy of a plant will vary depending on the species. However, every plant has six main growth stages.
The newly planted seed will start to develop roots during the primary growth stage. The seed contains small amounts of nutrients that help it start the growing process and germinate.
The plant develops deep roots that spread in the soil during the secondary growth stage. This phase includes rapid growth and abundant nutrient absorption.
Plants rely on their green pigment, called chlorophyll, to grow. Nitrogen is a critical element of chlorophyll and helps the plant develop its foliage. As a result, you can see more leaves growing from the stem during the vegetative phase.
The budding phase is when you start to see tiny buds growing on the plant. During this phase, the plant uses a significant amount of phosphorus to fuel reproduction.
After the budding stage, the buds will open into beautiful flowers or fruit. The flowering phase relies on potassium to help the plant transport necessary starches and sugars.
“Flushing” refers to the phase where the plant’s flower or fruit is nearly mature and needs more water than nutrients.
What Do Plants Need to Grow?
You need more than dirt and water for healthy plant growth and development. Although these are two crucial factors, plants require necessary nutrients, light, and other components to grow properly.
Water and Nutrients
Nearly every living thing on Earth needs water to survive. That includes plants. However, water isn’t always enough to promote plant growth.
Just like people and animals rely on food, plants need specific nutrients. Plants use water to carry their nutrients from the roots to the leaves and vice versa. Plants rely on three primary nutrients:
If the soil is dry, the plant roots will struggle to absorb and carry the necessary nutrients. On the other hand, too much water can drown the plant.
Carbon Dioxide and Soil
Plants are alive and rely on clean air to “breathe.” However, certain pollutants like smoke or gas can prevent plants from absorbing carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is an essential part of the photosynthesis process. Without it, the plant will struggle to make food.
Along with clean air, plants need healthy soil for nutrient consumption.
Proper Environmental Conditions
Without enough light, a plant will struggle to make food, causing it to look weak or limp.
Adequate temperature is another crucial element required for growing plants. Generally, plants grow better in moderate temperatures. Most plants will burn in a hot environment and freeze in colder temperatures.
Room to Grow
It is crucial to ensure that your plants have enough space during the growing season. Roots and leaves require enough space to spread. If there isn’t enough room, the plant will have stunted growth.
When planting multiple plants near each other, make sure there is enough space between the seeds. Not only will this give the plants adequate room to grow, but it will also reduce the risk of diseases.
10 Steps to Grow Plants
Ready to start growing plants in Williams County? Here are 10 steps to help you get started:
1. Get a Planting Container
First, find a clean pot or container in which to plant your seeds. It should be at least two or three inches deep and include drainage holes.
2. Find Quality Soil
Choosing the right soil is crucial for plant hormones and overall health. You can find sterile seed-starting soil at your local garden shop. Use warm water to moisten the soil before filling a pot or container for optimal seed growth.
3. Determine the Proper Planting Depth
Different types of seeds require varying planting depths for root growth. Check your seed packet for the proper seed planting depth.
Generally, the soil covering the seed should be about three times thicker than the seed.
4. Use the Right Amount of Water
Never use cold or hot water; it should always be room temperature. When using chlorinated water, let it sit overnight to dissipate properly.
Using too much water can drown the plant, while not watering enough can dry it out. Always make sure the soil is moist for adequate nutrient absorption.
5. Keep Consistent Moisture Levels
Maintaining proper moisture levels is vital for plant health. Before the germination phase begins, place a plastic cover over the planting container to trap moisture. Remove the cover once you see sprouting.
6. Make Sure the Soil Is Warm
In order to germinate, seeds need adequately warm soil. The prime soil temperature for germination is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using waterproof heating mats can help you maintain proper soil temperature and promote healthy plant growth.
Fertilizer contains key nutrients that plants rely on for sufficient growth. Once plants start developing their second set of leaves, use a half-strength liquid fertilizer every week until you move the plant out of the container.
8. Ensure Proper Lighting
Most seedlings need 14 to 16 hours of direct sunlight every day. One way to tell that your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight is when it starts facing or bending toward the window.
9. Air Circulation
Proper air circulation helps grow strong stems and prevent diseases. You can improve air circulation for your plants by placing a fan nearby.
10. Hardening Off
Hardening off is the process that helps plants get used to harsher outdoor environments before transplantation. Over a week or two, plants are gradually exposed to the sun, wind, and water conditions they will live in outdoors. This is crucial to ensure that the plant is ready for a new habitat.
Professional Planting Services in Williams County
We know that growing plants is exciting, but it can also be a lot of work. Contact Farrell’s Lawn & Garden Center in Williams County via our contact form.