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Secondary Roots

You've got roots growing off the vines in your garden. You wonder.... is this a good thing? ....It sure is!

The definition of secondary roots is any plant root growth not at the stump or tap root, the place where the main vine of the plant comes out of the ground.

Secondary roots are a good, make that a GREAT thing. They anchor vines, helping to protect them from high winds. They nourish the plant and fruit. In some cases, they even take over feeding and nourishing your plant, if the vine is separated from the main roots.

Secondary root growth is common on vining plants. This includes: pumpkins, watermelon, squash and cucumbers. Other plants, like tomatoes, can develop secondary roots. They form along the vines where the leaf stem meets the vine. They are white, whitish, or light beige in color. Most form from the bottom of the vine. Some will form from the top, and curl over the vine and down into the soil.


Promoting Secondary Root Growth:

Gardeners should promote secondary root growth. It can result in doubling the size of your fruit!

Promoting secondary root growth is easy. This is done by covering the vine with a little soil, You can cover the entire vine, or just the area where the leaf stems meet the vine. Cover vines with about an inch of rich garden soil.

Keep the area well watered, and new, secondary roots will soon be feeding your plants, putting on pounds to your fruit.

Apply fertilizers to the secondary roots, just as you would to the main tap root of the plant.


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