Exactly what do plant roots do?

Plants need roots and although some plants absorb water and nutrients from the air or host plants, most have their roots firmly embedded in the soil and here we look at what their functions.  Firstly roots (hopefully) anchor the plant securely in the soil against buffeting by winds and passing animals.  Secondly, plants take in nutrients from the soil,...

Leaf mould & the self destructing sack

We are now well and truly in the leaf gathering season so ensure that you make the most of nature’s bounty by rotting deciduous leaves into leaf mould for use as a fantastic soil conditioner.  Leaves need plenty of air circulation to decompose and must be fairly wet when stacked to kick off the process.  I have never found...

Mycorrhizal fungi – what are they & do I want them?

Autumn and winter are the key tree and shrub planting seasons in the South East of England and gardeners are hearing a lot of references to ‘Mycorrhiza’ so this seems a good time to explore what it/they do.  Mycorrhizal fungi are present naturally in the soil but can be depleted in soil or growing compost that has been deeply...

Bulbs, corms & tubers – the same but different

October sees the start of the main bulb planting season with daffodils, crocus, tulips and many more appearing in garden centres and nurseries.   But there is more to bulbs than the common spring flowering selections and understanding a bit about their lifecycle can help you to be more confident and more adventurous in your choices. In fact bulbs, corms and...