Today’s blog is an Interview with Robert Pavlis, author of Plant Science for Gardeners, featuring a question that was asked by a reader on social media.
What made you decide to write this book?
There are many gardening books that tell people what and how they should be doing things in the garden. Unfortunately, almost none of them teach gardeners much about how plants function. There are also many botany books that provide the science about how plants grow, but they ignore gardening completely. My goal with this book was to combine the science of plants with gardening practices. If gardeners knew more about plants, activities in the garden would make so much more sense and it would be much easier for people to learn how to garden.
What is one piece of information from the book that you think is the most important for every gardener to know?
The role water plays in the plant. Understanding how water is absorbed by roots, is moved up stems to the leaves, and where it is used in leaves to carry out photosynthesis will provide the gardener with an initial understanding of how plants get nutrients and produce food, and how they use these to grow.
How do roots get longer?
Roots have special cells located right behind the root cap (the tip of the root), called meristematic cells. These cells replicate very quickly. Some become new root caps cells, replacing old ones that get scraped off as the root grows. Others grow in length and form new root tissue. As they grow, they push the root cap forward into the soil.
Winning Giveaway Question
What’s the biggest myth that we all believe, that’s holding us back from better growing?
That is a tough one. “Epsom salts is useful in the garden” -- it rarely is. “Egg shells are good for gardens” -- not unless your soil is very acidic. “Home remedies are safe” – they may or may not be safe, but most don't work as advertised.
I guess the #1 myth is that answers on social media can be trusted. 80% are wrong, no matter how strongly the person believes them.
Not all social media groups are equal. Some do a good job trying to correct misinformation – Like Canadian Gardeners. But others will kick you out if you disagree with any comment, no matter how stupid it is.
And my group, Garden Fundamentals, also provides sound scientific information.