Tuesday, August 7, 2007

8 Leaves

My squash plants have grown quite a bit since last Tuesday, July 31. We irrigated Monday July 30, and again yesterday, August 6. On July 31, just after watering the garden, the plant in the above hill of zucchini had 3 leaves, as can be seen in my July 31 post.

Yesterday, August 6, we irrigated again. I took the first photo, the one at the top of this page, on August 5. The second photo of the same hill was taken today, the day after irrigation. Different lighting accounts for the different colors in the photo.

My question is, has there been faster growth of the plant after irrigation than before?

Here's a brief, unscientific test. Last Sunday before irrigation, the plant in the center of the photo had 6 leaves, with a seventh very small leaf in the center. So, the plant went from 4 leaves a week ago to 6 leaves after irrigation. That's two leaves in 5 days, an average of .4 leaves a day.

Today after irrigation there are 8 leaves on the same plant with a ninth in the center. That's two new leaves added in 2 days, or an average of 1 leaf's growth per day. So it appears that my impression is supported by my anecdotal observation.

The plant is on one of the largest in my squash patch. Others are growing at a slower rate. Plant growth should increase once the plant puts down roots and starts to accumulate leaves. The more leaves, the faster photosynthesis takes place, so the fastser the leaves grow. How growth increases with increasing plant size is something I'd like to investigate.

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