Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Power of Surface Soils

I think this is the most revealing illustration in the Roots Demystified book as it shows how influential the shallow zones of soil are to the feeding roots of a young tree. The seedlings in the pot on the left are growing in soil gathered from the top two inches of forest soil in a specific growing area. The middle pot contains soil gathered from a zone two to four inches deep in the same patch of ground. The seedlings on the right are growing in subsoil gathered from beneath the topsoil. The pot on the left outperformed all other seedlings by more than 50%.

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1 comment:

ryan said...

An interesting test, though I think it mostly proves that the top two inches most closely resemble potting soil. Plants grow differently in the ground than they do in pots, so I'm not sure if any larger conclusion cans be drawn.