Dixana
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Location: zone 4

Leaving roots in the ground

HG said something about this in another post and I thought I should repost this question in another thread ;)

Can ALL annual plants be cut at the stem and the roots left in the ground? Veggies too? Will the roots decompose by the following year or do you just move the dead ones around when you're replanting?
What about diseased plants, should those roots be pulled?

That's my zillion questions for the day :lol:

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supagirl277
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Location: Utah Hardiness Zone: 6b

When I plant annuals, in the fall we either till it up with the plants plucked off, or we just pluck the plants off. We leave the roots in, because the soil they were planted with at first is still there in a little clump. It's good fertilizer. Or you could pull out the roots (which are dried up by then) and just leave the good soil.
~I learn as I go... I just wish that would I learn faster. :)
~Well at least I have my backups... nope they're dead too.
~Outdoor gardens are very good when you have a Bearded Dragon that can just chomp her fill when she's hungry.

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soil
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Location: N. California

roots will decompose into organic matter which will in turn feed your plants, you also get the benefits of the soil micro organisms that were living on the root system of said plants.

diseased plants should be pulled and tossed. rotate crops in that spot until the soil is balanced again.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

ronbre
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:34 pm
Location: Michigan

yes you should leave all annual roots in the soil, will they all be decomposed by next year, no. corn will not and neither will some others, but they still will be adding humus to the soil. No you don't have to dig them out to plant, just push the new seeds in between the old roots.
will diseases remain in the roots, they might if there were diseases that you are sure are apparent, then pull and burn the entire plant.

if there are no diseases..if the plant has no seeds that could be a problem for causing weeds, you can leave the entire plant in the garden, or you can chop and drop the top of the plant as a mulch .

return as much of your plant material to the garden every year..and it is always better not to till if you can avoid it.

a good book on this information is
Gaia's Garden Toby Hemenway
avail from amazon
Brenda

Bloom where you are planted
https://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Leaving roots in the ground

Till or not till seems to be a question that gets beat around a bunch. I can only tell you what I do.
In the fall put all the organic matter I can come up with on the plot. Leaves, grass clippings
the compost heap, and till it all in along with what is left of the garden plants on the garden,
including standing corn stalks. All that organic matter gets chopped up with the tiller and worked
in. Come spring I can just go plant the early stuff. I till shallowly before planting the later crops as
weeds will be growing then.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-



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