What is Vegetative Growth?
Introduction to Vegetative Cycle of Gardens
The vegetative stage of growth comes after a seed has been germinated. Often called the “veg cycle” for short, this stage of growth is one of the most important points in a plants life because it is going to set the stage for the fruiting/flowering cycle.
What I mean is that the vegetative growth cycle is, in a sense, setting the foundation for what your plants will be capable of producing. Whether you’re growing fruits, vegetables, or herbs, the veg cycle will play a critical role in how well your overall garden will harvest.
During the vegetative cycle your plants are not in the reproduction phase, they are in the creation stage, so to speak. It is during this stage of growth that the plants are not producing anything other than branches, leaves, and roots. This beginning stage of growth allows the plant to become well established in its environment, along with giving it time to become bushy as well as strong (the stem).
A plant with a strong structure (stem, branches) that is also bushy (a lot of leaves) will ultimately be a plant which will produce heavily and healthily.
What keeps a plant in the vegetative cycle?
All growth stages of a plant are dictated by the amount of light the garden receives. We can learn much from Mother Nature herself. During the spring time most plants are in the vegetative cycle because the sun light we receive is abundant. Specifically we receive at least 15 hours of sunlight during spring days which keeps all plants in the vegetative cycle, in which they establish themselves and get stronger.
This is mimicked indoors by keeping the grow light on a set lighting schedule. That is one reason a timer for the grow light is so important, it keeps your plants in the cycle you want/need it to be in.
When growing indoors, growers will typically keep their grow lights on for 18 hours or sometimes even 24 hours. In our experience, the 18 hours of light is the most common as grow lights can get quite expensive, depending on the type of light being utilized.
As long as plants receive 15 hours of light or more per day the garden will remain in the vegetative stage.
1) Vegetative means the plant is only building itself by creating more branches, leaves and stronger stems. Of course root growth is occurring as well; it is also a very important growing factor.
2) Plants remain in the veg cycle as long as they receive 15 hours or more of light every day.