Monday, 13 July 2015

Rosie is my relative?!

Attempted cannibalisation of a distant relative
Nothing to do with that delightful book by Gerald Durrell, I'm afraid. Just a bit of trivia -  but one that I found fascinating enough to write about. And yes, it's gardening trivia.

So:  plants need nutrients - and there are all sorts of plant foods available that you can sprinkle around the roots, dig into the soil, or dissolve and water with. Someone (in case you're here reading this, Sathish, it's you!) told me about the different minerals that, when added, can help growth in specific areas of a plant.

Nitrogen - good for foliage (leaves and stems)
Potassium - good for fruit and flower development
Phosphorus - good for roots

And then Sathish mentioned how plants and animals have things in common, and similarities between us in terms of various mineral deficiencies. So I did a quick Google, and have come to the following conclusions:

1. My skin, hair and nails are my foliage. They suffer if I have a nitrogen deficiency. My muscles too (presumably my stems), and my blood (my sap).

2. My ovaries are my fruits. Well, that one was obvious. Potassium helps with things like ovarian cysts. Also the heart - apparently particularly susceptible to potassium deficiency. But the song goes, "Life is a flower" and I've got poetic license, so I've decided my heart is my flower. 

3. My bones and my teeth are my roots. They need phosphorus to grow strong and stand firm. Not too sure why the teeth fall in this category, so I am going to assume that something teethlike in plant roots chews up useful nutrients before sending them along.

Amazing. I love this evolutiony stuff.

Of course, I am no scientist, and yes, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". But sprinkle with some over-active imagination and water well, and it grows into something fun for me and my readers to enjoy (perhaps with a pinch of salt).


(That last paragraph, in case you hadn't realised, is probably the jolliest disclaimer I've ever written, and also a subliminal suggestion to go make yourself a margarita).

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