Field of Science

Day light savings time & gardening

There seems to be more grousing about daylight savings time than usual, and considering how many time pieces these days automatically reset themselves, it's hard to figure out why, but the general theme is that DST isn't needed anymore.  TPP is willing to bet that the writers of such opinions are urbanites, people who live in a totally artificial environment in the first place.  An hour one way or the other means little in their artificial lives.  However, for us working gardeners, that extra hour of daylight in the evening is just great.  If not for working for a living, the daily schedule could be shifted to the actual daylight hours no matter what the clock says, but us 8-to-fivers need light in the evening.  TPP shifts his schedule to sun time whenever he's working in the tropics, and one of his plants flowers (groan) at first light (about 5 AM).  The people who are carping about DST obviously don't garden, so they don't see any use to having the minor inconvenience twice a year.  This is a more general problem because urban areas are centers of population removed from nature so issues like DST and conservation in general are of little interest and yet they have the voting clout that determines issues.  Do we need a gardeners lobby to prevent tampering with DST?  If DST was done away with what would Hoosiers have to revolt against?  Now if only someone could figure out how to re-program the internal cat it's-breakfast-time clock, and as you might guess they like the spring forward (Yea, early breakfast!).   


mr_subjunctive said...

Not only is DST not needed anymore, but it was never needed in the first place. I hate DST with an all-consuming passion. I hate DST more than I hate Republicans. (Seriously. I would totally vote for Republicans if they would promise to abolish DST. Only once, mind you.)

Technically, it's not DST I hate so much as the switching to and from it. If that extra hour of summer sunlight is soooooo important to gardeners, then fine, let's just stay on DST forever and never go back to standard time. I don't care. Just pick a time and stay with it.

The Phytophactor said...

TPP can live with permanent DST, but not the GnOPe.

Anonymous said...

After a discussion of photoperiodism in my college biology course, a student asked me if the switch to DST altered the flowering times of plants. She believed that setting the clock ahead an hour actually added an hour to the length of the day!