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Geotropism

The directional growth of an organism in response to gravity. Roots display positive geotropism when they grow downwards, while shoots display negative geotropism when they grow upwards. Also called gravitropism

source: The American Heritage® Science Dictionary 2002

It is also defined as:

the response of a plant part to the stimulus of gravity. Plant stems, which grow upwards irrespective of the position in which they are placed, show negative geotropism

source: Collins English Dictionary 2009

So why is the gardener throwing fancy nouns all over the landscaping blog…?

In very simple horticulture and specifically it’s relevance to you – here’s my breakdown of the above definition, for you….

if one should plant a bulb upside down – the roots will always grow south or upwards and the stem will always grow north or downwards. Fact.

In really simple terms, there is no incorrect way to plant a bulb or seed.

So why then do I see this on so many gardening blogs and websites…?

Plant the cloves the right way up! – like any other bulb, if it’s planted incorrectly they will never see the light of day – literally. The base of each clove should be pointing downwards while its peak should face the sun. Fairly obvious, one would assume, but the number of people who ask the question illustrates the need to make the point.

The video below is really terrible… but scroll, to about 30 seconds on the timeline and watch it until the end. It explains it extremely well.

The same theoretically applies to any plant, tree or shrub. This definition should not be confused with phototropism which is a plants stimulus or response to light.

A little further explanation…?

Plants can sense the Earth’s gravitational field. Geotropism is the term applied to the consequent orientation response of growing plant parts. Roots are positively geotropic, that is, they will bend and grow downwards, towards the center of the Earth. In contrast, shoots are negatively geotropic, that is, they will bend and grow upwards, or away, from the surface.

These geotropisms can be demonstrated easily with seedlings grown entirely in darkness. A seedling with its radicle (or seedling root) and shoot already in the expected orientation can be turned upside down, or placed on its side, while kept in darkness. The root will subsequently bend and grow downwards, and the shoot upwards. Because the plant is still in darkness, phototropism (a growth movement in response to light) can be eliminated as an explanation for these movements.

Several theories about the manner by which plants perceive gravity have been advanced, but none of them is entirely satisfactory. To account for the positive geotropism of roots, some researchers have proposed that under the influence of gravity, starch grains within the cells of the root fall towards the “bottom” of the cell. There they provide signals to the cell membrane, which are translated into growth responses. However, there have been many objections to this idea. It is likely that starch grains are in constant motion in the cytoplasm of living root cells, and only “sink” during the process of fixation of cells for microscopic examination. Roots can still be positively geotropic and lack starch grains in the appropriate cells.

A more promising hypothesis concerns the transport of auxin, a class of plant-growth regulating hormones. Experiments since 1929 have shown that auxin accumulates on the “down” side of both shoots and roots placed in a horizontal position in darkness. This gradient of auxin was believed to promote bending on that side in shoots, and to do the opposite in roots. Confirmation of the auxin gradient hypothesis came in the 1970s. When seeds are germinated in darkness in the presence of morphactin (an antagonist of the hormonal action of auxin), the resulting seedlings are disoriented—both the root and shoot grow in random directions. Auxin gradients are known to affect the expansion of plant cell walls, so these observations all support the idea that the transport of auxin mediates the bending effect that is an essential part of the directional response of growing plants to gravity.

landscaping dublin, gleditsia

Garden Gift Ideas This Season

Bit too early you for this you say….? In the garden calender, you have less than 9 weeks to the years end.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me….

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Christmas gift buying can be a tedious affair particularly when buying for…. well, just about anyone. I don’t know about you but, I know as sure as Willy Wonka will be on tv this Christmas, I have never bought myself aftershave, shirts or socks, in the last 10 years. That is by no means a complaint. Far from it. What I’m really looking forward to however is my first ever Christmas knitted wooly jumper…. you know the one with the reindeer on it… the Daddy ‘rocking around the Christmas tree’ ones…. 😉

On that note I have 10 real green garden gifts that will make your life that little bit easier.

  • Give It The Garden Once-Over:

A makeover, a facelift… you may simply require that little extra professional touch to brighten up the front or back garden for the festive season. Weeding the beds, some bark and some berried plants or simply some additional instant planting. Planted exactly to your liking or positioned to brighten up that apartment, existing garden or balcony.

  • Instant Colour Planters:

For the office or home, for inside or out. One for the entire office or one just for Mary. Culinary or colour or simply pretty and inviting. A living gift that will last that little bit longer and will spice up that Christmas dinner.

  • A Tree Is For Life – Not Just For Christmas:

Email or call. Your trees or tall shrubs can be fruiting and small and – or native and tall. Planted on your date of choice or simply delivered to your recipients door.

  • Especially For You:

Maybe you have an existing garden but you’d like something that little bit more unique and one off. You’ve searched the stores and you’ve had no luck there. How about a garden feature made just for you ?

  • In Need of some Sound Advice:

Reckon you may like to do the job yourself but simply don’t know where to start…? Book a day with yours truly to get the best from your garden whilst in your garden. Your very own garden class, a consultation, plant shopping or a garden layout. As you wish…

  • The Ultimate Garden Design:

Scheduled, time-lines, products and plants. All drawn and planned – all in order, organised and tailor made to suit your budget and space in your great outdoors.

  • The Seasonal Hair Cut:

The hedge, the trees the lawn. It may not be the Phoenix Park but sometimes the arms of others are better used, letting you get on with the things that matter more.

  • A Class Apart:

Fancy your very garden class just for you and your group of friends. A day out in your garden or at your place of work, one with your very own group of budding gardeners should be just the ticket. Green by grow your your own or specific to the more amenity side of the garden, maybe you’d like to mix them both… The choice is yours. All materials can be supplied and the time-lines and times to suit yourself. All you have to do is turnip turn up. Simply send me and email or drop me a line.

  • Everything You Need For The DIY:

If you fancy giving it all a try yourself…. all of the pieces to complete the puzzle hand picked, delivered and wrapped if you wish. All of the garden products you could ever need to complete the tasks at hand or to put that final addition to that great outdoors.

  • Still Stuck….

Depending on the person you have in mind, that may not be such a surprise 😉 Pop me an email or pick up the phone. There’s something out there for everyone….

You can as always contact me via the following options.

  • by email info@doneganlandscaping.com
  • via this website: click the contact page
  • call mobile – o876594688

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The Sodcast Guests – Shawna Coronado

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.

Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or – as always you can subscribe or/ and listen to the podcast via iTunes. Alternatively you can subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 8 of the garden podcast ?

Now into episode 8 of The Sodcast, I thought it a good time to test the water with something a little different.

I bounced it around with others of the podcasting fraternity on maybe bringing some guests in and whilst the response was very much 50:50, there really is only one way to find out…..

Introducing Shawna Coronado

I called Shawna yesterday to see how she was getting on and more importantly to give you a little taste of just what you can expect to hear on Thursdays Sodcast. Take a listen…

Why A Guest and why Shawna…?

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I rang Shawna, a person I had interviewed twice before for the blog, admittedly the first time it was audio-less but with whom, both of us will agree, that between us the conversation seems to us, to flow relatively easy.  The video below explains that maybe a little better….

I’m not to sure how well this will work and so and as always I will base that factor upon your responses on the iTunes Sodcast page. Maybe, that’s not the route some would take, but so far so good and 20 ratings and 15 comments later – 90% are 5 star ratings and the comments are very encouraging….

The guests will vary from week to week and will return again, for now and to start with, a nice round of applause for Shawna.

Visit the sodcast podcast page on iTunes – leave a comment and let me know what you think and I’ll talk to you next Thursday 😉

My Links to Shawna:

Direct Links To Shawna:

You can of course contact me on:

My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-71e75bc3da9c04142ce67283dbbb3e68}

John Keyes Has [Apple Tree] Problems

If you don’t know John Keyes…. you should. One of lifes really nice guys. More than that he always mostly [ 😉 ] says hello, goodbye and thank you. I like that. I like John because of that.

Last week John sent me this video. He has had some problems…

I have had apple tree problems before myself. I understood the dilemma John was in. I rang John and got some more information, as you can see from my technical notes

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And in response I made John this video. It was just too much to do in writing and verbally with images was better in this case I felt. That said I could do with a professional camera man. That aside, a problem solved for Johnny 😀

Potatoes

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I grew these potatoes some months ago from seed. I think it was about €2.50 for a half litre pot of seed. I simply popped them twice their depth below the surface.

Mine came into flower and passed that point some time ago, but I had potatoes that I had got locally and so I didn’t bother lifting these at all. Until now. I was quite pleased with the crop. I didn’t mound the soil to get more or any of that molarchy. I just planted and left them.

I did run into one problem that was the common potato scab. It’s a scabby patch that appears on the outer skin which disfigures the spud. It’s not a major problem for me or the potato, although if you saw it in a supermarket potato I’d be very surprised. It’s caused by the mycelium producing Streptomyces scabies [the 2nd part of that name alone makes me shiver]. This comes as a result of light soils with a high lime content and also from low moisture levels  usually from a hot summer, which we had spells of this season. I’ll just peel them to be honest and next year I’ll plant a resistant variety.

After that, not much else I can add. It is very much a case of just pop the seed twice its own depth below the surface of the soil and keep well watered.

Of course if you have any questions, simply leave a comment below.