Oxygen to plant roots

Nancy Harrison vulpia at sonic.net
Wed Jun 21 05:52:21 EST 1995

In article <3s8hjf$b6u at ixnews3.ix.netcom.com> s.meric at ix.netcom.com (Polar) writes:
>From: s.meric at ix.netcom.com (Polar)
>Subject: Oxygen to plant roots
>Date: 21 Jun 1995 07:26:39 GMT

>Naive question:

>Why do we cultivate the soil around plants so oxygen will get to the
>roots?  As a home gardener, I've done it automatically for years, but
>got to wondering why just the oxygen dissolved in water wouldn't be
>enough.  Thanks for any replies.


Plants "drown" just like animals if surrounded by water with no air.  The 
roots therefore need air around them to function.  I can't tell you exactly 
why it works this way, but I know from my studies of vernal pools (in Calif) 
that only specially adapted plants can survive under water for long.  Your 
garden has regular terrestrial plants that don't have these adaptations.  I 
hope this helps a little...not too scientific, I'm afraid!  - Nan

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