Getting Down to Grassroots

If you dig out a wedge of turf and soil and look at it, you'll see several layers. At the top is the mostly flat grass blade, which should be bright green. That's the part of the plant that you mow every week. At the next-lower level, you see rounder grass stems and then the crown, where the roots meet the stems. The new grass growth emerges at the ground-hugging plant crown. Under the soil, you'll find miles of roots for each grass plant. The root length is directly proportional to the plant health: The longer the roots, the healthier the plant. Grass plants come in two basic forms: clump-forming and creeping.

  • Creeping: With creeping or sod-forming grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass or Bermuda grass, horizontal stems called stolons and rhizomes grow out of the crown, take root, and form new plants. Stolons grow on top of the soil; rhizomes grow underground, as shown in Figure 20-1.
  • Clump-forming: Clump-forming or noncreeping grasses, such as chewings fescue and hard fescue, don't spread by stolons or rhizomes. If allowed to grow without mowing, these and other grasses send up a tall flowering stalk that may produce seed.

Figure 20-1:

Many grass types spread by stolons and rhizomes.

Figure 20-1:

Many grass types spread by stolons and rhizomes.

Grass Stolons
Herbs 101

Herbs 101

Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?

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