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Monday, July 5, 2010

Pinching Back Plants

Since our amazing garden planting party on June 27th, our new plants have take to strawbale living very nicely. Thanks to our roster of dedicated waterers, our plants are getting that daily dose of H2O they desperately need to survive these hot summer days.

A combination of heat and a fertile place to grow has inspired a few of our herbs to bolt to seed. The talmud teaches that every blade of grass has it's own angel whispering 'grow, grow'. In this case I imagine the plants hearing, ' it hot, maybe time to make flowers and more seed for next year'! In any case, this week it was time to pinch back some of the plants.

Pinching back plants involves your thumb and forefinger placed firmly on a longer leggy stem on the top end of the plant and squeezing it off just under some leaves. This sends a signal to the plant to activate the dormant buds beneath and sets them off resulting in a much bushier plant. In the case of herbs, such as basil, this is a very desireable trait.

I couldn't help thinking of my own growing places as I was conducting this time honoured garden ritual. I found myself recalling times in my life where I had leapt ahead impulsively yearning to get to some new situation or experience...and life pinched me back. Looking back now I have to marvel at the plant's wise reaction and recognize how those experiences forced me to dig deeper, and grow myself wider and more stable. Nobody likes to get pinched...but it's good to know how much stronger we grow through life's little lessons.

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