The Tiny Plant Root Hairs Interaction

The tiny plant root hairs interaction with soil microbes is an intimate relationship. They communicate by the exchange of fluids. The plant hairs secrete chemicals that request a response from the microbes and get a nutrient answer. The plant depends on the microbes for it’s sustenance and the microbes seem to get something positive from the plant. I wonder if it’s like the honey that a bee gets from the flower. Plants are manipulating their environment both above and below ground. Symbiotic relationships that bring life. When the top of the plant gets eaten it encounters a whole new realm of bacteria not nearly so benign as the soils environment. These bacteria destroy the plant material in order to nourish the host. What is then excreted decomposes to feed more plants. A never ending cycle. Flora and fauna on the microscopic scale are truly amazing.

Gardening is chock full of conflicting information. I think this is because success is common, but the variables to achieve it are so numerous that we are only aware of some of them. You can bumble along getting great results until something changes and you are forced to find out what. You can then learn about a parameter that you were completely unaware of but just happened to be in line with. Seeds planted in clay soils get a high rate of germination because the dense clay absorbs lots of water and retains it close to the seeds outer shell. When we plant in containers we use a fluffy seed starting material and also get great germination. Opposite environments. The different types of soil are mixtures of different size particles, with different amounts of loam and organic material, so no two planting places are the same. Applying the same rules to soil in general ignores the significance of it’s variables. I’ve always believed that a fluffy material on top of the seeds allowed them to push through more easily, but have just heard that a back pressure an the sprout helps the roots penetrate.

The peas I planted February 2nd are starting to come up. Seventeen came up last night. They are supposed to germinate in 5-10 days so I was beginning to lose hope. Now we know that they can still be viable in the ground for over 30 days. I’ve read that people on Long Island plant their peas in the fall and just wait for them to come up in the spring. This sounds impossible to me because I’ve had pea seeds rot in the ground when the spring soil is too wet. Ive also started putting pebbles up against the stems of fallen over transplants again, because the only one with holes in the leaves is the one that was laying on the ground. I think that any passing sow bug chews the leaves when they walk over them, then comes back the next night for more. They don’t seem to be climbing up the stalks to get to the leaves this year, maybe because there is so much mulch food for them laying on the ground.

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