Stuff You Missed in Botany: Taproot

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Taproot

What do you need to know about taproots?

Not all plants have a taproot, but many of them do. Plants having taproots are extremely difficult to successfully  transplant, however, they are also not very easy to kill. For example, a dandelion has a substantial taproot. You can mow and hack at these little guys, the taproot will just send up new shoots and start again.

At this point I could explain dicots and monocots, but I’m not going to right now. I reserve the right to explain those later. Instead, I’m going to first explain it the way I explained it to Patrick.

Two groups of people want to get the same job done, they want to build a tower.

One group chooses to elect the strongest  guy to stand at the base of the tower, direct all the other workers and then build the tower and climb each section, getting materials needed from the workers he directs. He does the majority of the heavy work, but since he stays put, he relies on the rest of the workers for materials.

The second group chooses to all go out together to gather materials, meet back at the building site and all construct together, gathering more supplies as necessary.

Both groups can get the job done. Both groups build with sound principles. They’re just different, and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Taproot System

The taproot system is a good one. One root grows thick and deep, sending out some smaller roots for

Carrots, roots and all

water and food, sending up leaves to bring the energy offered from the sun. You can cut off the top, it will send more (dandelion). You can hack off the side roots, it’ll make more. It’s only real Achilles heel is that taproot. Damage or disturb the taproot, and it’s very likely to kill the plant.

 

 

 

Fibrous System

Marigold the Other story

The fibrous system is also a good one. Many roots do the job of providing the nutrients and water for the plant. They have lush foliage for providing solar power.

Their strength is in their numbers, numbers of roots, numbers of leaves.

Their weakness is in their inability to compensate if too many leaves or roots are damaged. Since they get a little from a lot of sources, they are more dependent on each individual part. If say, a tenth of the plants roots or leaves are damaged, they might be okay. If 20% of the roots are damaged, it’s possible the plant will not be able to recover.

So, which plants grow taproots?

  • *Tomatoes (if grown from seed)
  • Cucumbers
  • Melons
  • Squash
  • Pumpkins (which are squash, but it’s okay to list them)
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Parsley
  • Turnip
  • Radish

Plants with Fibrous Root Systems:

  • Marigold
  • White Clover
  • Coleus
  • Sorghum
  • The Grasses
  • Bamboo
  • Tomatoes (When grown from cuttings)

The main thing about taproots we need to know when gardening is that if a plant has a taproot, you must be extremely careful if you are going to transplant it.

Ark of Taste List Items

:Don’t forget to check out the Ark of Taste in your area!

Have a paisley day with a good strong taproot!~KeriAnne

 

 

 

 

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