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what determines a growing season

what determines a growing season

by 2 years ago
3

what determines a growing season, is it temperature or daylight or a combination. i live in a semi tropical country, the winter temperatures average 14c and rarely drop into single figures and there is never ice or frost and the daylight hours do not have the variation of the UK. so what i would like to know is when does a plant know when to flower, fruit and ripen and can i grow all year round.

at the moment i have very mature tomatoes but also some seedlings in pots ready to go into the ground, should i bother. some plants here definitely know seasons like fig trees and grape vines but would a tomato plant know or spring onion or lettuce? as long as they are not too cold and they get enough sunshine would they grow all year?

2 years ago
Tutor
Hello Michael! Interesting question. As you have already guessed, a growing season varies enormously depending on where you live. The longest growing seasons are roughly where you live - semi-tropical, where conditions are good for growing almost year-round. Where I am, in the UK, our growing season lasts from March till about October; in more northerly climates, like Canada, the growing season is very short and goes from about May till about September. It's basically the length of time in which plants are actively growing; this means air and soil températures above 10C. Light levels also have a lot to do with it; even if air and soil temperatures are right, plants don't grow well in low light levels, so that can limit things too. I think - though others who know more about tropical climates than I do might say otherwise - that in tropical areas, water levels are more important; when light levels are usually good (because you're near the equator) and températures are clement, the seasons tend to fall into wet or dry seasons. I know from a little spell looking at gardens in Grenada in the Caribbean that most growth all but stops in the dry season, then gets going with a vengeance once the rains start again. My guess is that this may be what governs the growing season in your area: it would make your growing season an enviable 6 months or so of the year, which we in the UK can only dream of! So in answer to your second question, it depends where in the year you are at the moment. Spring onions and lettuce grow year-round even here, so just make sure they're kept damp and you should get good results at any time. If it's wet season you will probably be OK with your tomatoes; just to be sure though, ask your neighbours, or look over the fences of nearby veg gardens - they will be as good an indication of what grows when as anything.
2 years ago
thanks sally, you can probably guess i am quite new to gardening never having had the time before, as i said i've got young tomato seedlings (they just grew from a rotten tomato i threw out) and rather than destroy them i'll plant them and see what happens over the "winter" here. it would be nice to have fresh vegetables for christmas. I'll report back how they got on.
2 years ago
Tutor
New to gardening is cool :D You have a fun journey ahead of you! Growing tomato seedlings from ripe tomatoes is the easiest way - I do this each year, just get a very ripe tomato, scoop out the seeds and spread on kitchen towel. Dry on a windowsill for a week or two, store in an envelope once dry, then next spring plant the whole thing, kitchen towel plus seeds, in a seed tray. They come up like mustard and cress :D Do report back and let us know how they got on!

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