My plants grew taller than expected. What is going on?

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Excessive plant growth has been a shared experience by many Canadian growers this year, making this a very Frequently Asked Question in 2019! Some years, Mother Nature serves up the perfect conditions for massive growth. Just like dim, cool, dry weather can slow growth, things like too much rain and sun can stress plants into growing bigger and taller than usual. That has certainly been the case for the 2019 growing season throughout much of Canada.

What if the weather does not seem to be the cause?

  1. Reduce fertilizers- especially nitrogen: Put simply, Nitrogen is the nutrient responsible for green growth. Excess nitrogen can cause excess green growth and even make vegetable crops so focused on green growth that they neglect to produce vegetables!
  2. Improve lighting: Plants that are not getting enough sunlight will “reach” for more light and become tall and slim, or “leggy.” Check that you are meeting the minimum light requirements for each individual variety in your garden. Move sun-starved plants to a new location in the garden or trim low-hanging branches of nearby trees to invite more sun.
  3. Amend soil: If you have not fertilized and the weather does not seem to be the cause, test your soil to determine whether there is a nutrient imbalance. Your local garden centre or nursery can help you choose a soil sample kit and recommend the best products to amend your soil.
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