Basic question about plant science...
Hi, I am new to this forum, although I do have posts on the Professional forum, which introduces more about me. I wasnt sure to ask my question there or here, each could probably answer my question with ease, but I thought since it was a scientific question, it may be best to post here.
I am a grower, an amateur grower, using grow lights in my home. I do not have a greenhouse, but I have a pretty impressive system that I use; or rather, impressive to me without having high tech equipment. My goals are the same as any professional grower: high yields, uniform growth. I dont just grow plants (seeds mostly) in hopes of getting a plant here and there, I want as many as possible! I have been doing this for several years, and am very passionate and obsessive about learning the best techniques for producing superior plants, with what I have to work with. Also, before anyone suggests this, I am a horticulture student, but I am part time and I have many prereqs before I get to the classes I want, so it will take time to get these questions answered by formal eduation. Since I will begin doing my own sales next year (only to friends and family), I need many questions answered.
I have been doing a project all summer with annuals. I have seeded them, and then transplanted them to different size containers to monitor growth and development. I totally expect plants in bigger pots to do just that: grow bigger, but I didnt expect the difference to be so immediate. I currently have Celosia, Geraniums, and Zinnias, with several plants in cellpacks, several in 3 inch pots, and several in 4 inch pots. What I am noticing is, within about 10 days, I see an immediate difference in plant size. The 4 inch potted plants are already bigger, wider, and more growth at the base than the cell plants. Now, I understand that these plants are getting more light, more room for roots to grow, but what I dont understand is how this can happen so immediately. I mean, my transplants were all exactly the same size when transplanted, about 3 sets of leaves each, same amount of roots. All plants are transplanted into pots (sizes I already mentioned) that have an abundance of growing medium for those one inch tangled roots to expand. How much do these roots actually grow in 10 days to 2 weeks to make such a noticable difference??
I have also noticed that, even the tiniest of baby seedlings planted in cell packs tend to grow taller than plants in the bigger pots. I must mention, these seedlings are no where near touching each other in the cells, what is making them grow up taller? I must stress that I take extreme care of my plants: they are watered precisely at the right time, and my grow lights are always the same distance from the plant,no matter what size the plant.
I guess what is baffling me is, it appears as though the pot size is directly causing these differences in plant growth. Can anyone explain why?
Again, I must stress that this is immediate differences, I am not talking about differences after several weeks. I would certainly expect a larger plant after about 4 weeks! But this is happening immediately.
I very much appreciate your input! I have some photos, I will post them here to demonstrate later today.