June 23, 2021

Taproot -  \ ˈtap-ˌrüt \ noun

The largest, most central, and dominant root of a primary root system.

Developing from the radicle of a seed (the embryo), taproots are quick to grow directly down into the soil. Typically very thick, taproots are the central root from which the other roots will sprout laterally. 

Taproots in the Forest Garden

While certain taproots make for some delicious vegetables, like carrots and turnips, some can be a serious challenge to transplant. Farmers in our Forest Garden Program know that since taproots naturally grow directly downward, they often end up deeper in the soil than other plants’ root systems, so it is more difficult to uproot a taproot system. Root damage is likely to stunt or kill the plant, so it is vital for farmers to avoid damaging the root.

A Tip For Growing Trees With Deep Taproots: Trees with a deep taproot tend to respond better to bareroot propagation because there is less root binding in the beds. Minimal disturbance increases the chance of survival after transplanting.

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