Is your vegetable garden looking a little lackluster this season?
If so, you may be able to improve the yield of your plants with some unconventional hacking. Literal hack, that is.
Grab your shears and Try “topping” your plantsstrategic gardener Megan Lloyd shared it with the 179,000 followers of her TikTok channel MegGrowsPlants.
The plant professional admitted, “It feels totally unnatural and I still sway every time I do it, but I’ll show you why you should.”
To demonstrate the effect of ornamental plants, Lloyd showed viewers a pepper plant that she left “as is” and not hung at an early stage.
“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Lloyd said. “It produces, it’s good, it looks healthy. But it’s really tall and kinda skinny.”
Then I showed her some of the plants she had been topping her in as a child. When it began to grow, but before it began to flower, she sheared the tops of the stems, greatly shortening the plants.
Although the practice seemed inconsequential, Lloyd showed how the practice pays off.
“They are all so thick, dense, more plump, and you will give me more pepper,” said the gardener.
The smaller, wider, and certainly larger plants were full of healthy leaves and sprinkled with buds.
“Look at how many buds there are in this,” Lloyd said, as he inspected a plant. “I can’t even count them, there are so many.”
I was clearly impressed with the results, as I focused on a particularly potent plant.
“It sounds like more than one plant, but it’s not,” she said.
In the comments section, Lloyd added one warning to fellow gardeners.
She explained, “These are all small varieties of peppers. The bigger ones like the giant marconi/ancho/etc, I don’t beat them.”
“Larger peppers need that space to grow, so they benefit from being taller,” she added. “But the little peppers/chili – on top of them!”
One viewer said they discovered this practice themselves, quite by accident.
“My child picked the top of one of my pepper plants by accident and it grows longer than the other four,” they wrote.
Someone else explained the science behind the genius trick.
“You are removing the auxin that makes the plant grow tall,” the commenter wrote. “Instead, it is now growing bushy–the same for trees and shrubs.”