Checking the Roots

Even if humans aren’t feeling the heat, we’ve seen very little rain, and the soil is drying out down in the root zone. When the sky doesn’t provide, the Eat to Live Garden is currently hand-watered, which is laborious and limited.
Plants need water to keep growing green leaves (sun-energy harvesters and plant-sugar producers) and to make seeds and fruits.  Remembers, if it contains the seed, it’s a FRUIT!  Seeds are power-packed with proteins, starch, and fats to start new plants, and the fruits surrounding seeds are rich in sugars and vitamins.  All of these essential processes and nutritious products require WATER.
When watering plants in the garden, deliver water to the full root zone to ensure that the plant gets the most benefit! Watering too shallowly discourages the roots from growing down to moister soil. Watering below the roots where the plant can’t reach just wastes water. Watering soil around the plant encourages other seeds in the soil to sprout and grow — a benefit of dry weather is that it restrains weeds.
1) Rooted, hydrated sunflower.  Happy face to the sunshine!
2) Uprooted sunflower — uprooted and it dried out before it was found.  Sad and disheartening.  But we can take the opportunity to observe its roots and think about how it grows. Its roots are mostly close to the surface (no tap root) and don’t grow broadly away from the plant.  Tap rooted plants have an advantage in dry weather — their deepest roots are remain in contact longer with deeper, moist soil.

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