Discover How Plants Grow – What is Vegetation?

How Plants Grow

Perhaps it is because the roots of most plants are underground while the stems, leaves and flowers are easily seen, that we rarely give sufficient consideration to what happens in the ground and how plants grow, and this in turn is the reason why we do not always ensure that the soil is in good heart.

how plants grow

We know that roots are essential and so often, when growth is poor or a plant dies, we refer to poor root action or root rots. Roots have two main functions – the anchorage of the plants in the soil and the intake of water and mineral.

In many plants, anchorage is provided by one or more deep penetrating tap or thick roots, which have little feeding function but which hold the plants in position. From these tap roots, a number of tough supporting roots develop. It is the fine branching roots and root hairs, usually located near the soil surface, that search for and usually secure, the nourishment and moisture needed for growth. A root hair is a single elongated cell which thrusts its way between the soil particles.

This is why it is so important to encourage the development of fibrous roots and why too, gardening by organic methods is correct since it is in the abundance of well broken-down humus matter that plenty of the finer roots develop. Consolidated and waterlogged soils do not favour root development through lack if aeration and good drainage.

The method by which feeding matter enters the plant is known as osmosis. This is the taking in of food in solution through the root hairs. When there is a stronger solution within the root hairs, this attracts a weaker solution in the soil. If highly concentrated fertilisers are applied to the soil, the balance is disturbed and the weaker solution then within the root hairs is attracted from the plant resulting in sickness and possible death.

There is reason to believe that some roots excrete or exude substances into the soil. Certainly living roots respire and give out carbon dioxide, and this with moisture, often forms a weak acid. When roots die, they return organic and some inorganic matter to the soil, and these can eventually be beneficial to the next crops occupying the same site.


What is Vegitation?

What is vegitation – anything green that is growing basically. Growing from the ground and from the earth.


Leaf Functions

It is easy to forget or ignore the fact that plants, like animals breathe, taking in oxygen from the air and giving out carbon dioxide. This process releases energy and is of course known as respiration. Green plants also take in carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen. This is known as photosynthesis and takes place only in light and in the presence of chlorophyll, the green colouring matter based on a complex magnesium compound.

how plants grow

During the process, carbohydrates form in the leaves and these are converted into soluble sugars which are transferred in solution to other parts of the plant. These sugars and other substances, along with the minerals absorbed by the roots, are used for the development of the whole plant.

Water plays an important part in the life of plants and how plants grow particularly as a carrier of mineral salts. The leaves also eliminate water which has been forced up from the roots. This is known as transpiration, a continuous process which increases in dry weather but becomes reduced in a saturated atmosphere.

Plants grown under glass will, if allowed, transpire more rapidly than the roots can absorb water. This leads to flagging or wilting. Their good condition can usually be quickly restored by overhead sprayings so that a damp atmosphere is immediately provided and loss of water by transpiration is rapidly reduced. If we remember that leaves breathe, feed or assimilate and transpire, we shall become more conscious that plants are living and need certain conditions if they are to grow and function properly.

Close microscopic examination of the leaves of most garden plants will show they have breathing pores or stomata distributed over their surfaces, particularly on the undersides. It is these pores which open and close according to humidity, temperature and other cultural conditions and which therefore are concerned with assimilation, respiration and transpiration. This is one important reason for keeping foliage clean so that the pores can remain active.

Liquid plant food applied to the surface soil around the roots as well as foliar feeds can make all the difference between indifferent and first class growth and development and really affects how plants grow. Provided the roots and foliage function properly and ordinary cultural conditions are observed, there should be no difficulty in obtaining worthwhile crops.


17. August 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit & Veg | Tags: | Comments Off on Discover How Plants Grow – What is Vegetation?

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