• January 28, 2020

GARDENING: Know your roots - Odessa American: Gardening

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GARDENING: Know your roots

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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2020 12:45 am

Roots are one of the most vital parts of a plants system. They are what anchors the entire plant to the earth, bad roots equal a bad plant. Without roots a plant cannot support itself. Without roots a plant cannot uptake nutrients and water.

There are two main root types, taproots and fibrous roots. Monocots typically have fibrous roots, and dicots typically have a taproot. Fibrous roots grow more horizontally and outward as opposed to taproots that grow vertically down and as deep as they can get.

The monocots with their fibrous roots are typically your common grasses. The fibrous roots help prevent soil erosion and grow closer to the soil surface. Wheat, rice and corn are monocots with fibrous root systems.

The dicots on the other hand have a strong woody taproot that is very difficult to remove by hand. If you try to pull weeds up that have a taproot you will usually just remove the plant that is above soil level leaving the root behind allowing it to shoot up from the remaining root. A common example of this many people know are dandelions.

Knowing what type of root system, you are dealing with can help you decide what special needs your plant has. It is also important when trying to remove weeds. More aggressive weeds with taproots will require you to dig up the entire root system to ensure that the weed can be better managed.

The roots are essential to the health of your plant and the survival so encouraging a deep and extensive root system will help ensure that your plants will thrive.

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