By Linda Chalker-Scott

How crops paintings brings the stranger-than-fiction technological know-how of the plant global to bright existence! It explains how vegetation inform time, how they circulation to stick with the sunlight and catch meals, and why they modify colour. Linda Chalker-Scott, of the preferred weblog The backyard Professors, uncovers those and different attention-grabbing mysteries during this attractive and available creation to plant body structure. through revealing the technology in the back of what crops do each day, this publication hands you with details that may swap how you backyard. You'll tips on how to fertilize and prune extra successfully, tips on how to weed under you ever have, and the way to figure out which backyard items are worthy it slow and funds.

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Maybe you’ve put an addition on your house, widened a driveway, or done some other work where the soil level has been increased. Adding several inches of soil on top of existing fine root systems is literally burying them alive. Unlike leaves, roots don’t make their own oxygen and they depend on pockets of air trapped in the soil. When the soil suddenly becomes much deeper, it’s more difficult for oxygen to seep through from above and the roots suffocate. Mature, well-established trees might be able to survive this treatment, but younger plants will benefit from being exhumed and replanted at grade.

RIGHT: The circling roots of container plants will continue their orbit unless straightened out upon planting. ) taller. Or maybe the new leaves on a favorite rhododendron seem to be getting smaller every year. These are signs that the root system isn’t supplying enough water and/or nutrients to support vigorous growth aboveground. Figuring out why is tricky, especially without exhuming the roots. There are some key symptoms, however, that gardeners should look for. Leaves may be smaller or sparser than normal, or they may have scorched tips and margins in the summer, all because they aren’t being supplied with enough water.

Roots and their fungal helpers mine the soil for water and minerals, efficiently transporting this nutritious liquid to the tops of my redbud and the arborvitae hedge without a pump. Which gets us to wondering, what are all those nutrients used for? T H E U N D E R G R O U N D R A I L R O A D 59 What’s Essential 3 W E G A R D E N E R S T E N D TO F U S S about our garden plants’ nutrition. We worry whether we’re providing the right form of phosphorus, if organic forms of nitrogen are better than inorganic ones, and if we need to add chelated iron or kelp or humic acids or mycorrhizal fungi.

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