Emmanuel Rolland,
Gardening at school



diaporama PJE





Watering bottle


3 runner beans

Planting out


Preserving fruits

Tree support


Observing roots

Sade and protection


A tree support

After a cutting has grown strong you can plant it out in the garden.
It needs to be protected as follows.
Plant out the new young tree, keeping all the soil mixture around its roots so as not to damage them.
Manure the base of the tree and water it.
Place around its base a black plastic square of 80 cm making a slit from one edge to the middle so that  it can wrap around the newly planted tree without damage it.
Place another smaller square of black plastic the same way.
To stop the plastic from moving put a tyre on the plastics with the tree in the middle.

The black plastic will keep the heat and water in the soil around the tree and it will stop weeds from chocking it.
The plastic will let the worms work day and night in the surrounding soil which will help the root system of the tree.

The tyre stops the plastic moving, gives shade and protection to the tree and stores up heat and water.
NB Do not forget to water the tree and when planting out the tree do not damage its roots.

Reabsorbtion of water

When you water your plants, water falls to the bottom.
The system then reabsorbs the water into the soil mixture to nourish the roots.

When it rains water falls on the ground and is absorbed until it finds soil that will not allow it to pass e.g. clay.
When it has not rained for a while and the soil dries out this forces the water to be reabsorbed upwards towards the roots of the plant.
This happens in the plastic plant container.

For you to see this happening try the following:

Take a sugar cube and soak it in a coloured liquid. You will see the liquid being absorbed into the sugar from the base upwards.

Now see this happening in your plastic plant system.
Leave the container 8 days in the sun so that it dries out.
Disconnect the bottom portion and fill it with water.
Reconnect the two halves. Wait a couple of hours and then look at the soil mixture in the container.
You will see the water being absorbed up to the top.
Measure how much the water has risen in one hour and you can calculate the speed of absorption in centimetres per hour.

Observing the roots

The plastic bottles are transparent which is ideal for observing what is happening inside.
The Lucerne roots can grow up to several metres high.
For this plant, we need to use 2 or 3 other bottles with the tops and bottoms cut off and inserted one into another to create a long plant container. (See diagram).
This long system will force the roots to grow down and find water.
This system is used for trees that have pivoting roots.
To replant in the garden from the plastic plant container, the hole has be made very deep, maybe using a post hole digger.