The Roots of Love

I had a fabulous idea for a magazine article a little while ago, and so set up an experiment and began taking photos to illustate my article and prove my theory.  The idea was to demonstrate that by extending attention, love, and encouraging words to growing plants they would respond by growing more strongly and healthily.

So began my experiement with two trays of compost.  One was to be the trays of compostcontrol tray to which I would not speak, offer praise, or encouragement to, barely even acknowledge.  I would simply water when necessary and that was that.  The second tray adorned with a big love heart sticker so that I could tell the two trays apart, was to receive daily words of encouragement, love, excitement, and joy, alongside the essential water and sunlight.

jar of pea seedI chose to grow pea greens using seeds I had saved last summer.  Being rather chaotic, as is my style, I had a jar with two different pea varieties in, so my first job was to separate out enough of one type to plant.  Luckily the different varieties had a very different appearance even when dried in seed form so this didn’t take too long.  I chose pea greens because they are quick to grow (so my experiment would be over and article written sooner) but also because I love to eat their sweet, juicy, fresh shoots as a salad ingredient, and what with the cold spring this year my usual cache of wild greens has been a little lacking.

Seeds sown, the experiment proper began, and over the next 3 weeks I faithfully nutured the tray with the heart on, on a daily basis.  Even when I was not sitting next to it offering encouraging words I would often think of the wee beauties and send them a blast of love.  So, imagine my disappointment peas growingas the days passed and there was no visible difference between the growth in the two trays.  That was it, if I left it any longer the greens would lose their sweetness, and get a bit stringy as they reached for the sky in an effort to complete their life cycle by flowering and producing peas.  I ate them before they got the chance.

half harvested pea greens

Once the greens had been harvested, I slung the trays outside my back door to be dealt with later, and promptly forgot about them.  That was a couple of weeks ago.

This weekend with the long awaited rain and spring warmth I suddenly had a panic about how few seeds I had sown this year.  In a flourish of activity I got out my seed packets and started working through them.  At the bottom of the pile were two packs of different cherry tomatoes, new ones that I have never grown before.  Excited, and knowing I was a bit behind, I rushed to find a couple of planters and some compost so that I could start them off indoors.  As I opened my back door the old pea trays were still sat there.  Perfect, I thought.  All I had to do was pull out the old pea seeds and stumps where the greens had been cut to.  The first tray was very easy with tiny narrow white roots coming easily out of the soil.  The second tray made me stop.  The roots were long and thick, some almost with the girth of bind weed!  Oh my!  Yes this was the tray with the love heart on.  How wrong I had been when I gave up my experiment.  I never explained to the peas that they were to be eaten as greens, so I believe they were storing up and growing fantastic roots in readiness to be planted outside and to then dazzle me with an incredible abundance of blooms and fruits.  Now I will never know what the end result would have been.

My lesson?  Talking to and encouraging your plants with love does make a difference!  And if you intend to try this experiment at home apply a little more patience when waiting for results… 🙂

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