Are you one of the countless others in the UK who are trying to learn how to measure plant growth? If you are, then you’ll be glad to know that this procedure is anything but complicated. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to calculate the growth rate of your laboratory specimens or if you want to know how fast your polytunnel plants are growing – you’ll be able to do this with great ease.
3 Methods You Can Use to Measure Your Plant’s Growth Rate
It’s important to note that you’ll need a bit of time to track the growth rate of your tender plants. You’ll also need to make use of a few supplies. Here’s a closer look at what you need to do:
Method #1: Measure your plant’s height with a ruler
The first method involves the use of a ruler to measure the height of your plant. To do this, you need to set your ruler at the plant base while ensuring that you begin measuring at zero on the bottom. For measuring the height of plants in a pot, you need to set the ruler at ground level. While a ruler could work for smaller plants, you may need to use a meter stick, a yardstick, or a measuring tape for taller plants.
After measuring the plant’s height from the base to the highest point, ensure that you record the plant’s height on your chart. Don’t forget to write the date of the recording. It’s best to repeat this process every three days to keep track of your plant’s progress.
The next step is to calculate your plant’s average growth rate. You can easily do this by taking your plant’s measurements and dividing them by the amount of time you’ve been growing them. Although you’ll get a general idea of how quickly your plant grows within a set amount of time, keep in mind that your plant’s growth rate can vary daily.
As of today, it would be impossible to predict a particular plant’s exact daily growth rate without the use of a laboratory, as well as cutting-edge technology.
Method #2: Keep an eye out for the leaf size
You can also measure your plant’s growth by judging leaf size by creating a chart, counting the leaves on the plant, and marking their length, as well as their width. When you’re creating a chart, be sure to have rows for each of the dates you plan to measure your leaves. Make sure to have a column that’s labelled “number of leaves”, and another one that says “average length”, and one more that says “average width.”
Don’t forget to check your leaves and record the data every three days. As you’re counting the number of leaves on your plant, be sure to do it thoroughly and avoid counting the same leaves twice. Count the number of newly-sprouted leaf tips and record them on your chart as well.
When it comes to marking the length and width of your plant’s leaf size, you’ll need to take a random sampling of at least four leaves. Next, you’ll need to grab a ruler to measure each leaf from its base to its tip, as well as its widest parts. Once you’ve recorded the specific measurements in centimetres and millimetres, you add them up. You divide the total amount by the number of measures to get that day’s average leaf length and width.
Method #3: Use dried plants to get the growth rate
For this method, you’ll need to select a random plant and remove it from its pot and carefully rinse off the soil from the plant’s roots before using a paper towel to pat the plant dry. Next, you place your plant in a drying oven, and you set the temperature to 60˚F C or 140˚F. To make sure that the plant gets completely dried out, you need to heat them for about 8 to 12 hours.
In the absence of a drying oven, a food dehydrator could work if you just set it at the same temperature. If you only have a conventional oven at your disposal, you may use the convection setting and set it at about 140˚F for approximately 6 hours.
Once you finish drying your plant, you need to place it in a plastic zip bag to protect it from moisture as it cools down. Keep the leaves that fall off during the cooling phase and put them on the scale along with the rest of your plant as you weigh it. Record the data and dispose of the dried-up plant.
This process may be repeated after a week or two for comparison. Once your measurements are complete, you need to get the average change in weight by adding up the recorded data and dividing it by the number of days between each size taken.
Is polytunnel Gardening in the UK a Great Idea?
Yes, polytunnel gardening in the UK is one of the best experiences you could ever have. Besides allowing you to tend to your plant babies regardless of the weather outside, a mini polytunnel also acts as a protective barrier against harsh weather conditions, destructive pests, and harmful animals. What’s more, having your mini polytunnel will make it easier for you to control the temperature and humidity levels inside the enclosed space, allowing you to provide an ideal growing environment for your plants.
How to Measure Plant Growth: The Bottom Line
While knowing how to measure plant growth is excellent, what’s even more astonishing is to experience the beautiful benefits of polytunnel gardening in the UK. Invest in a mini polytunnel today!