John Ott’s television program, How Does Your Garden Grow?, first aired in 1951 on the Chicago television station WNBQ (channel 5), and expanded to the NBC network where it continued to air until 1956. In this beginning episode, Ott introduces the audience to his time-lapse pictures.
Host John Ott greets the audience from his home studio and begins with a monologue about the joys of gardening. He excitedly introduces his time-lapse pictures which include footage of a rose, a double petunia, a cyclamen, a Cypripedium Orchid, and a Cattleya Orchid. Ott briefly describes some of the technical specifications of his time-lapse studio, provides a tour of his tool shed, and then demonstrates how he likes to mix garden soil with peat moss and sand.
The episode concludes with Ott’s explanation of how one may plant a sweet potato next to an indoor window. When the question arises concerning which end of the sweet potato should face up, he consults his written correspondence with Dr. Julian Miller of Louisiana State University’s Horticultural Research Department, and concludes that determining the correct end “becomes quite involved” depending on the variety. Ott then humorously settles upon simply placing the sweet potato in a dish that will allow it to sit sideways.