Gardening is an exercise in patience. It can take several months for plants to sprout from seeds and grow to full size, and it can take even longer to enjoy flowers and fruits. Although growing plants is never an instant task, gardeners can do things to speed things along. There are plenty of ways they can help plants grow quickly and healthy. Employing a few techniques not only speeds up the maturing process but also helps extend the growing season.
Plant seeds in warm soil
Most seeds require a warmer soil temperature to germinate. For example, capsicum seeds germinate in soil temperatures between 23 and 28 degrees Celsius; tomatoes germinate in soil temperatures between 16 and 30 degrees Celsius; eggplant seeds germinate in soil temperatures between 24 and 32 degrees. Although most plants can germinate in colder soil temperatures, warmer soil helps plants grow quickly after germination.
Starting seeds indoors in late winter helps give plants a head start and extend the spring growing season. Inside, seeds enjoy a warm environment where they can easily germinate and seedlings can thrive.
Plant in cold frames or grow boxes
Gardeners can also give plants a head start by starting them off in cold frames or grow boxes. These are essentially mini greenhouses. They let in sunlight and heat but protect seeds and seedlings from wind and cold.
Fertiliser provides plants with important nutrients, allowing them to grow faster and healthier. Gardeners can purchase commercial fertilisers or add manure or compost to their gardens. Adding fertilisers while plants are small helps them grow quickly.
Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for plant growth. Plants use nitrogen to create new tissue; therefore, they need lots of this mineral to grow. Gardeners should avoid adding too much nitrogen to the soil because it can prevent plants from flowering and keep them from absorbing other important nutrients.
Potassium is also important for plant growth. It helps plants produce protein so they can grow healthy and quickly when they are small and mature into hardier adult plants.
Phosphorus is an important nutrient for flowering and root growth. It also helps plants grow stronger. Phosphorus in the soil allows plants to set strong roots and spring up quickly.
Magnesium is a major component of chlorophyll, the chemical responsible for photosynthesis. If the soil is low on magnesium, small plants may have trouble growing larger.
Amend soil pH
Different plants prefer different soil pH levels, but most prefer a pH range between 6 and 7, as this allows them to take in important nutrients. Gardeners should ensure that the soil pH levels match the kinds of plants they are growing. They can use a soil pH tester to measure levels. pH can vary from one spot to another, so it is important to test different areas of the garden. Gardeners can amend acidic soil by adding lime and fix alkaline soil during the growing season by adding acidic mulches or compost and in the winter by adding sulphur.
Clear weeds from beds
Most garden plants require space to grow, and weeds can cause crowding, making plants grow slowly. If weeds grow tall, they can block sunlight and stunt plant growth. They can also rob the soil of the essential nutrients that garden plants need to thrive. Gardeners can clear weeds from beds before planting by tilling them into the soil or covering them with compost, manure, or mulch. They can get rid of weeds during the growing season by pulling them.
Provide plenty of sunlight and water
Most popular plants require lots of sunlight and water to thrive. Plants turn sunlight into food, which helps them grow faster. Water helps plants take in nutrients from the soil, which is also important for growth. Although water is essential, gardeners should resist the urge to over water the garden. Too much water can actually cause stunted growth.
How to buy gardening supplies on eBay
Sellers on eBay are an excellent source for gardening supplies. Sellers offer a large inventory of shovels, garden forks, fertilisers, cold frames, and more. To get started, type the item you want into the search bar. If you are interested in a specific brand, colour, or material, be sure to include it in your search terms. Browse through the list of matching products for sale, and use the search filters to narrow the list by price, condition, or seller location.