How Plants Work?

Free for all about gardening techniques, tips and questions.
Barmaley
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How Plants Work?

#1

Post: # 23621Unread post Barmaley
Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:08 pm

Hi all,

I am new at tomato growing and been a technician I have very little knowledge of biology. Could someone recommend a concise but thoughtful and informative site where I can read about how plants work? I would like to know about nutrients beyond NPK, soils, roots, plants breathing etc. Preferably with concentration to tomatoes since I am not planning to become a biologist, I just need a pragmatic basic knowledge to understand what I am doing!
thank you in advance
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Ginger2778
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Re: How Plants Work?

#2

Post: # 23625Unread post Ginger2778
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:22 pm

Barmaley wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:08 pm
Hi all,

I am new at tomato growing and been a technician I have very little knowledge of biology. Could someone recommend a concise but thoughtful and informative site where I can read about how plants work? I would like to know about nutrients beyond NPK, soils, roots, plants breathing etc. Preferably with concentration to tomatoes since I am not planning to become a biologist, I just need a pragmatic basic knowledge to understand what I am doing!
thank you in advance
Start with Craig Lehouillier's book Epic Tomatoes it will give you a great foundation. Then just ask questions, we will be happy to answer.
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- Marsha

Barmaley
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Re: How Plants Work?

#3

Post: # 23692Unread post Barmaley
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:14 pm

Thank you Marsha, I am sure to buy and read this book. However, the book is specifically about tomato varieties, taste, selections etc. while I would like to find some 101 course on roots and plants metabolism and general basic knowledge on plants growing. For instance, on the houzz tomato forum an expert member recommend no organic matter in a container mix which I understand bring nutrition value to 0 claiming that the biggest challenge is not nutrition content but water and air management. I remember that a year ago I learnt from a youtube video that all that mass which trees have comes from CO2, not from the roots. I assume that the same is true for tomatoes. Anyway, I just want to learn how plants work? Ideally I am looking for a website where I can read in about 30 minutes basic of plants biology.
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fluffy_gumbo
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Re: How Plants Work?

#4

Post: # 23752Unread post fluffy_gumbo
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:05 pm

Oops I should really read more carefully before I replied, you're looking for information about plants biology. I think Brittanica's page on flowering plants might be useful https://www.britannica.com/plant/angios ... l-features. I actually do research with plants so I can try to answer any specific questions you might have.

I'll still leave what I wrote before here just in case anyone finds it useful --
Hmm, I found that I haven't really needed to go beyond basic soil health, fertilization, watering, and pest control to get decent tomato and other vegetable yield. I tend to look for information that is more specific to your growing region. I see that you are in PA, I think you can find some great information on the state's agriculture website about how to work with your soil type and what varieties do well, etc. https://extension.psu.edu/trees-lawns-a ... -gardening
As for a book, there is one for gardening in the NE:https://www.google.com/books/edition/Th ... frontcover Google has quite a bit of it for preview
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Learn, adapt, grow! - Zone 9B
Blog: https://thebigeasygarden.wordpress.com/

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Cole_Robbie
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Re: How Plants Work?

#5

Post: # 23760Unread post Cole_Robbie
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:09 pm

Barmaley wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:14 pm
For instance, on the houzz tomato forum an expert member recommend no organic matter in a container mix which I understand bring nutrition value to 0 claiming that the biggest challenge is not nutrition content but water and air management.
Not that I am any expert, but that sounds like something I would say. The important caveat is temperature. If your temperature does not dip below the mid 50s or so at night, organic matter in mix can work great. It is just that when it gets too cold, you breed anaerobic bacteria like pythium that causes root rot.

If you are growing hydroponically, then getting the nutrient mixture exact is important. Look up user akmark and his amazing alaskan hydro maters.

If you are growing in soil, then I would say soil building and management techniques would be most important to learn. Then spotting pests and diseases after that.
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brownrexx
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Re: How Plants Work?

#6

Post: # 23781Unread post brownrexx
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:35 am

There is so much information available online that you could sit and read all day long and learn so much. Just use Google to ask questions and you will get so many links to get you started but I would stick to educational sources like universities or extension services at first.

PA State Extension service has a lot of information available online specific to our area. I am in PA also and although all plants are basically the same, the environment that they are grown in makes a huge difference. By environment I mean temperature, moisture level, soil conditions and amount of sunlight.

There is no one size fits all for plants and you will discover this as you read. A tomato plant grown in PA will most likely taste different than the same variety of tomato plant grown in CA.
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habitat-gardener
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Re: How Plants Work?

#7

Post: # 24055Unread post habitat-gardener
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:22 pm

Probably more than you want to know, but there is a book (written for gardeners) entitled How Plants Work, by Linda Chalker-Scott. Here is an interview about the book: https://awaytogarden.com/how-plants-wor ... ker-scott/
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arnorrian
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Re: How Plants Work?

#8

Post: # 24062Unread post arnorrian
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:18 pm

A fun fact about the enemies of our favorite plant: Early Blight is more closely related to Humans than to Late Blight.
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