Plant Bonding - - it Really Works!!
Laugh if you will, but every good gardener will spend time bonding with his
or her crop. I have never seen a plant object to bonding with the grower....have
you!? If you want a really healthy and productive plant, do not skip this
all important part of the gardening experience. If this author is not enough
of a testimonial, let me give you a more convincing example.....
One summer, I had the opportunity to host a number of friends at a picnic
at my home. My friends were on their first visit to the U.S. from China.
I had met them through several visits there. One of my friends (who happened
to have a farming background) immediately walked up to "check out" my garden.
Upon seeing a giant pumpkin growing in the garden, he kneeled down next to
it, stroked the fruit very gently, and said "nice Nangua, grow Nangua". (Nangua,
is Mandarin for pumpkin). He was downright sincere and complimented both
me and the plant. He said you have to develop a relationship with your plants,
to help them to grow to their full potential. This pumpkin was destined to
be my biggest ever at the time. Apparently, bonding with your plants is known
and practiced all over the world.
A wide variety of scientific studies have suggested that this phenomenon
is true. Some studies hooked up electrodes to test plant reaction to good
and to bad comments. The results: you guessed it....plants responded negatively
to threats and negative comments, and positively to good comments and praise.
Believe it or not, you make the call!
The above examples are positive proof to the universal belief in bonding
with your plants. In fact, bonding is successful with any vegetable or flowers
in your garden. In all of the plant world, Zucchini is the only plant which
does not respond to bonding. Zucchini grows prolifically all by itself, and
does not need your help!
Perhaps I should start yelling at, and belittling, the weeds in my garden.
Types of Bonding:
The most common form of bonding with your plants is simply to talk to them.
They respond quite well to positive re-enforcement. They also respond negatively
to criticism and negative re-enforcement. Don't ever threaten your plants,
or mention your doubts and disappointments within hearing range of the plant.
The mere mention of your disappointment of it's growth rate, can cause the
growth to completely stop for a period of time. The old saying "One aw_hit
is worth a hundred Attaboys" is very relevant here. Fortunately, plants have
extremely poor hearing, about ten feet.
A second form of bonding is singing to your plants. This is slightly more
effective than talking in an encouraging manner to your crop. It also can
backfire, as the choice of music is vital. Those of us who can not sing can
turn off the plants growth and development with our off-tune attempts to
promote growth, and result in stunting all growth. Sad songs and slow elevator
music can result in reduced production. Slow music can put your plant to
sleep. An upbeat, fast tempo is the preferred choice. However, marches are
to be avoided as they may cause the plant to grow too quickly. In the cucurbita
(pumpkins and squash) world, musical "marches" have resulted in pumpkins
literally bursting. Plants respond best to love songs during the pollination
period, especially during early morning hours, when pollination peaks. A
plant, like the animal world, must be in the mood for ideal pollination to
Playing recorded music is scientifically proven to produce favorable results,
although markedly less effective than the personal touch of your own voice,
or a live, orchestra performing live in your rose garden. Use the same selection
of songs as described for singing.
A few musically inclined growers will bring out their instruments and play
to their crops. Again, keep in mind the type of music. There is speculation
that symphonic bands are more effective than jazz or orchestra. I am currently
researching this and will update you shortly (don't hold your breath).
Finally, language plays absolutely no role in plant growth results. It doesn't
matter whether you speak English, French, mandarin or any other language
or dialect. My example at the beginning of this article is proof that plants
are multi-linguistic. The common belief is voice tone and inflection is most
A final form of bonding is to camp out and sleep with your plants as they
grow. This is the real proof that you are truly a dedicated gardener. Anyone
who pursues prize winning pumpkins or watermelons will attest that you might
as well sleep in the field, because you need to spend most of your time there.
Last year, my wife (saint that she is) suggested I sleep in the shed or next
to the plants. She sees little of me during the growing season anyway .
I have no doubts that bonding is an important part of the process. If you
are still not convinced, think about the fact that the more attached you
are to your plants, the more you think about their needs and the more you
observe the condition of both the plant and it's environment on a daily basis.
This awareness translates to recognizing the needs of your plant and reacting
at an early stage to what you see. Through bonding you are more active in
it's care and fussy about every little aspect of growing.