This section began innocently enough as a simple info blog about jujubes. But during the dormant winter periods with no live action to write about, I went back to my roots (ha!) to write more on soil, biochemistry, and soil microbiology in general. I found myself wanting to keep going, and this blog was becoming less and less jujube-specific.
Thus it made sense to restructure everything.
This blog is now The Biosphere Blog, where I will continue writing about these subjects very dear to me.
(And here is my passion project From Soil to Fruit, a combination of the two and very much a work in progress. This is where topics in this blog are arranged in a more structured book-chapter format, to be explored in far more detail.)
Composting Composting is an age-old technique of converting waste organic matter into nutrient-rich soil amendments that add fertility to a soil. There is the slow method of ‘cold’ composting, and then there is the faster ‘hot’… more »
The other day I was chatting to a neighbour about, of all things, Casuarina sp. (’She-Oak’) and the mulch they create from all the ‘needles’ they shed. (Casuarinas seem to be a very much under-appreciated and much-maligned tree,… more »
While waiting for the terminal buds of the 2020 Ta-Jan blogging tree to do — or not! — as predicted, I thought a post on transplant shock an interesting diversion this week. Back on the 22nd September 2020 I did a photoblog post showing the two years of… more »
Last week we covered the location of jujube tree nodes and the two types of buds present at each node. (That post has since been updated to include a crash-course description of the branch types as well.) The post ended with a summary of what each bud… more »
Nodes and Buds A ‘bud’, in botany, is a compact, undeveloped shoot which may develop into a twig/branch, leaf, or flower. The region in which buds are located is called a node, and the area between nodes is called an internode. Nodes are the… more »
UPDATE: This post didn’t make it clear at the time that these trees were handled contrary to norms in the interests of science. (Basically, I wanted photos of two years’ of root growth whilst demonstrating how tough these trees are with… more »
Below is the same photo of the young Ta-Jan mentioned back on 1st September 2020 in this post. The photo below was taken today, 15th September. This tree has not seen soil since July, as part of a little experiment to a) show how tough these trees are,… more »
Back Story These days it’s ‘just known’ that we/animals take in oxygen to survive (exhaling carbon dioxide as a waste product), while plants take in carbon dioxide to survive (releasing oxygen as a waste product). Yet right up into the… more »
We covered the three stages of dormancy here, wrapping up with a description of the internal changes during the last stage which prepare a tree for spring. These changes are invisible externally, but set in motion the changes that do become visible… more »
Energy Sources All living things need energy to fuel the biochemical pathways that enable them to grow, reproduce and move. The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed or… more »
Microbes Generally ‘Microbes’ means ‘germs’ to most people, and yet maybe one in a billion microbial species is a human pathogen. ‘Only’ 1,400 or so species have been described as a human pathogen, and this number… more »
This Australian Government site is an excellent resource for more than just soils and you may wish to explore its data further — but please note that it is a heavy user of RAM and performance may be affected, especially over a slow network. From their… more »
The Air-Pot® Having recently discussed root anatomy here and here, and this being the time of year deliveries are being prepared and people may be thinking about pots and potting, I thought I’d keep to the root theme by writing about a particular… more »
Last week was a brief overview of suckers, or shoots that form from adventitious buds on roots. Today I want to pick up from the Sucker Shoot Development section in that post, with more detail and some diagrams to illustrate this development more… more »
What is a Sucker? The roots of many plants and trees never see the light of day, and spend their lives pushing ever downwards and sideways in pursuit of moisture and nutrients. The roots of other species however will occasionally send up suckers, or… more »