tveguy3 said: ... the plant most likely knows what it's doing.
But they didn't evolve to be started in a tiny handful of soil. Are the cells root-bound or close to it?
It might be saying to itself: "Ohmygosh, somehow my seed germinated in some TEENY-TINY pocket of soil that might wash away at any moment! I only have days to live before I exhaust the soil. I had better hurry up and MAKE SEEDS before I DIE!"
But I'm not a pumpkin psychologist, so what do I know?
I think plants "know" what is good for them in conditions similar to those they evolved under, or the conditions where they were selectively bred by people maintaining heirlooms, or companies breeding for maximum profit.
Once we put them into new, artificial, situations, their genetic programming interacts with the situation almost randomly. I think plants tend to do things that would have
tended to be successful where they were evolving (or being bred through severe selection).