A Year in the Life of a Blueberry Bush

Have you ever wondered how blueberries grow? If so, Mark Longstroth of the Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service reveals all in the article, A Year in the Life of a Blueberry Bush. Information in the articles includes:

Roots: Roots are organs, which absorb water. This is their primary function. Most of the water is taken up at the root tips. There is a zone of active cell division at the root tip where new cells are formed. Directly behind the tip is a region known as the zone of elongation where the new cells grow by increasing in length. This elongation pushes the root into the soil.

Water Movement in Plants: Water has to enter the plant cells to get into the roots, but plant cells do not actively take up water. The water moves into the cells because they are full of salts and sugars. Root cells receive sugars from the leaves and also actively absorb salts from the soil. This concentration of salts and sugars causes water from the soil to move into the cell. This water is then pulled to the xylem by the active movement of salt ions into the xylem and the water follows the salts. The stem of the plant is simply a plumbing system. The inner layer is the wood or xylem, which carries water from the roots up to the leaves.

Annual Cycle of Growth: In the early spring, as the ground begins to warm, the roots begin to grow. The roots use sugar, which was stored in the shoots and roots the previous year, for this growth. Many growers will put on fertilizer at this time so the roots can absorb it. But the roots take up very little because plants that have no leaves use very little water. As the buds begin to grow they use sugar that was stored in the buds. The new leaves do not have a waxy cuticle water is lost water fairly rapidly. Now the plant begins to take up water from the soil. The roots and shoots are growing at the same time. There is plenty of water and sugar to go around. The roots grow where the conditions are best. Most root growth takes place in the moist warm surface soil early in the year. If the soil is saturated with water, as in flooded fields, the roots may drown. As the soil dries, the roots grow deeper. If the soil remains wet, because of a wet spring, a high water table, or a low spot in the field, then the root system will remain shallow.

Read more at: bit.ly/Oyez9T


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