Friday, October 10, 2008

Book Review - Roots Demystified

When I first picked up Roots Demystified by Kourik from the library, the cover made me think that I was in for some heavy duty learning. The scaled version of a underground root section looked like the cover of a scienific article. I was not prepared for the lively, fun-filled, and easily accessible language that I found inside.

Many of us are familiar, even if it is only through our own experience, of the tangle of stems, leaves, trunks, flowers and fruit that make up the aboveground existence of the plant world. We note tomatoes' fluttering friends and slithering foes. We grin with fascination at its speedy top growth or frustration as that massive cherry tomato pulls down yet another trellis. But what do we know about what goes on beneath our feet?

For example, did you know that 90% tree roots only grow in the top 18 inches of soil! Okay, maybe you knew that, but did you know that the root system can expand many times its drip line? You've encountered that too with your shovel? Okay, then smartypants, did you know that it is estimated that 80% of plants are in a happy relationship with mycorrhizal symbionts. Huh, huh? Diddya know? (What are mycorrhizals symbionts? Read the book to find out...)

My point is that despite the scary (if beautiful) cover illustration, this is one rivetting book. I will not tell you the conclusion because I do not want to be a plot spoiler but suffice it say that it will appeal to the mulchers amoung us.

Highly recommended.


Roots Demystified... change your gardening habits to help roots thrive by Robert Kourik.

No comments: