Different types of planting material

The success of plant growth after initial planting depends very much on the planting material and its root system. 

To plant trees, we mention the 5 most important (common) options for planting material:

1.    Seed (from F1 hybrids, from variable populations, etc.);
2.    One year old saplings on plugs (from seed, cuttings, tissue culture, etc.);
3.    Two year old saplings on pots;
4.    One year old saplings with bare roots;
5.    Two or more year old sapling with bare roots.

Option 1

Our experiments have taught us something important. Sowing seed in the center opening of the Waterboxx plantcocoon® is not a success.  There are several reasons for this.

Two of them are the most important:

1.    The seed doesn't germinate when it is sown outside its natural germination period;
2.    Other seeds, mainly grasses, germinate so well, that they grow faster than the tree seed, and suffocate it.

Conclusion: do not sow seed directly in the soil with the help of the Groasis Waterboxx plantcocoon®.

Option 2

In general, saplings from cuttings or seed are planted into a little space using plastic plugs; and afterwards, in a larger space using a bigger plastic pot.  We call this transplanting.

Plugs with a cutting

After the cutting has been planted, its root system starts to develop.  If the rooting is successful, the cutting generally develops more than one root.  These roots are also called primary roots.  If we take these saplings from the plug without damaging the primary roots, these primary roots will have substantial power to grow into dry soil or rocks, but they have less power than a radicle from a seed.

Plugs with a seed

The seed will develop a radicle in the plug with the same power to break rocks as when sown directly into the soil.

The less positive side of using a plastic plug or a plastic pot.

With plastic plugs and pots we have two negative characteristics:

1.    Once the root starts to grow rounded instead of vertically downwards, they will have a lot of difficulty growing vertically after planting. Many times they won’t.  So if you have a rounded horizontal growing pen root in the plug or pot, this sapling is not useful for dry soils or rocks.  It will fail.  There is a solution to repair this problem. You will learn about this solution further down the page.  You can prevent pen roots from growing horizontally rounded by choosing plugs or pots with a design that stimulates roots to grow vertically downwards.  Choose a reversed pyramid model, a square one, or a model where the inside is unequal. Look at the images for an example of a well designed plant plug.

2.    Once the radicle grows well and vertically, it will come to the bottom of the plug.  If at that moment the plug is not planted, the radicle will stop growing downwards, and it will lose a part of the active apical meristem cells.  The radicle will split into many small primary roots which have less power to break into dry soil or rocks.  Besides, this the radicle will start to grow upwards again, and then start to grow horizontally rounded.  Once growing this way, it will never change this habit.  This means that if you plant a plug with a radicle root growing horizontally rounded, this root will never turn downwards and grow into the dry soil and rocks.  If you are lucky, some of the radicles will develop a new root growing downwards - but the majority will not.  This is why planting trees on rocks or trees in dry or eroded areas, which are pre-rooted in plugs, will mostly fail unless they get help through irrigation.  In 2007, I planted as an experiment, saplings of Metasequoia glyptostroboides.  These were one year old trees multiplied through cuttings and had penroots growing horizontally rounded in the plugs.  I took them out in December 2009, two years after planting.  On the images you can see that most of the penroots did not recover, and less than 20% of the surviving saplings had developed a new penroot.  Over 50% of this trial which was planted on a dry sandy soil in Holland – a country with sufficient rain – died. You can see on these images, this bad phenomenon of non-recovered rounded pen roots.

Groasis has developed a solution for these problems.  The solution is called the PENROOT paper plug. The PENROOT paper plug allows you to plant trees, bushes or vegetables with an intact pen root. Read all about how to get the best pen root to do reforestation and anti/desertification in order to solve your planting problems. The PENROOT paper plug is the best solution to plant trees, bushes or vegetables in deserted, eroded, sandy, arid or rocky areas.

How to repair destroyed primary roots.

This photo series shows you how to repair them: Destroyed horizontally growing pen roots can be repaired. Look at these photo series how you can do this.
This photo series shows you the result of repairing the destroyed pen roots: Check these photos to see how the pen roots recover after 4 weeks if you cut them up to the vertically downwards growing part.
Plants with repaired pen roots are the second best solution to planting trees, bushes or vegetables in deserted, eroded, sandy, arid or rocky areas.

Option 3

The cutting can be planted immediately in the ultimate pot in which it will be sold; the root system will then be destroyed in the plastic pot as described in Option 2.  But many times the trees planted in plastic pots are transplanted from a plastic plug.  If during this transplanting from the plug into the pot, the primary roots are damaged, then re-growth of these roots will happen.  But each root that re-grows will produce roots that are weaker than the original.  These roots have less power to enter dry soils or rocks.
This is the third best solution to plant trees, bushes of vegetables in deserted, eroded, sandy, arid or rocky areas.

Option 4 and 5

With bare roots the root system is heavily damaged while taking them from the soil to re-plant in their final place.  In general, the primary roots are destroyed and the tree is not qualified to be planted in dry soils or on rocks.  Trees planted with bare roots will not survive in a dry soil or on rocks without using irrigation.
Radicle or Pen root - Conclusion.

You now understand that the most important criterion for successful planting in deserts or on rocks, is keeping intact the radicle or pen root.  Some tree species have a better pen root than others; some species have a characteristically divided root system; and other species have a specific pen root that remains intact over their whole life.  For planting in dry soils or on rocks, we prefer tree species with this specific "pen root".  This primary root is able to penetrate very dry soils or rocks deeply.  Some roots have been found to a depth of over 60 meters!


The lessons of 2010 and the plans for 2011

Lessons about roots

The experiments that have been started in 2010 have given us a lot of practical information. This information will help us improve the results of our experiments during 2011. As explained very well in the website, on http://www.groasis.com/page/uk/saplings.php and on http://www.groasis.com/page/uk/material.php, the key to a planting success is a good root. The Groasis waterboxx is a tool to help this root, but if we plant trees with destroyed, horizontal or upwards growing radicle roots, the future success of any plantation – with or without box - will disappoint us. A plant without good radicle roots is not able to penetrate dry or rocky soil. In the two mentioned links you can learn how to distinguish good from bad roots therefore I strongly recommend to study these pages and especially the photos. I have seen that the box is able to help survive saplings with bad radicle roots in the first year. It seems then that the success rate of planting is high. However, the real capacity of the plant to survive in eroded or rocky areas is only first proven once we take the box off. If then the tree survives and grows, we have a good result. This is only possible if the tree, bush or vegetable has developed a perfect radicle root.

Lessons about seed

In order to get good radicle roots I have done various plantations with seed. The problem with seed is however, that one does not control the germination. Sometimes the seed is only 30 or 40% fertile, or, once germinated, the sprout dries out or is eaten by an animal. It also happens that the seed stops germinating – even when it is soaked – once it is confronted with high temperatures. This is just a protecting mechanism that stops the seedling from dying when it is too hot or dry and the processes restart once temperatures drop. It is also difficult to sow the seed on its preferred depth. Some seeds like a sowing depth of 1 cm (0.4 inch) and others of 3 cm (1.20 inch) . There is none or little knowledge on this subject, but in the past when I sowed vegetables I learned that red beets needed to be sown at least 2 cm deep and chicory absolutely not deeper than 1 cm. If you sowed the red beet on 1 cm deep it didn’t germinate and if you sowed the chicory on 2 cm, it also didn’t. As we sow the tree seeds without any knowledge about their depth preference and as we do not control the depth on which we sow, we get unpredictable results that are not acceptable.

The best planting material

The best planting material up to my experience until now is seed that has just germinated under controlled circumstances. The best stage is when it has developed its radicle root, but it has not developed its leaves. This way you are sure that you plant a seed that is certainly germinated. You are sure that it has a radicle root that is able to penetrate a dry or rocky soil and that the non-existence of leaves guarantees that no evaporation happens yet. On the next page you find some pictures of pre-germinated Argana spinosa.

Improve your soil medium

It is very good to add Mycorrhizae in the soil mix in the greenhouse to inoculate the roots when germinating or when producing cuttings. This allows colonization on the roots and is an easy way to insure Mycorrhizae are present at planting. Trichoderma is also good to add in the soil medium as it is a good microbe that combats bad fungus. To help keep humidity in the soil medium during the transport phase you can use a product like Zeba http://zeba.com the greenhouse mix to help keep the transplant soil moist as it establishes and while plants are transported to the planting site.

Short explanation of Groasis

With the Groasis Technology you use 1 liter water instead of 10, while planting dry areas

The Groasis Technology is extremely efficient with water, this way allowing to one to plant in areas where water is scarce or expensive. The Groasis Technology helps the planter save money with eco-restoration, while – if the plantation is for agroforestry - also allowing the planter to make more money

The Groasis Technology is no irrigation, it is a planting technology

The Groasis Technology (GT) is an integrated planting technology to plant in dry, eroded, desert and rocky areas. It is not a way of irrigation. When planting with the Groasis Technology, during the first year water savings are more than 90% when compared to any other planting method. From the second year onwards no water is added as irrigation is not needed, .

The Groasis Technology is a biomimicry technology and consists of:
1) improving the soil with compost and mycorrhizae
2) leaving the
capillary structure intact and makeing the correct planting hole with the Groasis Capillary drill
3) using plants with
the right primary roots which are not twisted, but extend vertically downwards
4) using the
Groasis Waterboxx 
5) using the
Growsafe Telescoprotexx plant protector against heat in the summer, from frost during the winter and from grazing by animals
6) if necessary, when planting on rocks, the use of the capillary drill.

While using the Groasis Technology the primary roots grow average half to one centimeter per day into the deep soil. After one year the roots are two to four meter deep. The plant has found water and is now independent and strong enough to grow on its own. The Groasis Technology is a copy of how Mother Nature solves the problem of planting plants in deserts, eroded areas, badlands and on rocks. With the use of the Groasis Technology you can plant wasteland with productive trees. You can use it to plant orchards or use it in your garden. It works everywhere and always.

The Groasis Technology is a copy if how Mother Nature plants. The survival rate is on average in excess of 90% no matter how difficult the circumstances are. Other planting methods limit planting to take place only in certain seasons. The Groasis Technology enables one to plant during 21 months per year, independent from the season and no matter the temperature. This allows a planter to plan and industrialize the planting process. If the Groasis multiple capillary drill is used, previously unimaginable big areas can be planted each day. 

The reason of the success of the Groasis Technology

In most locations ground water can be found at a depth of 3 or more meters. The problem for a plant in dry and eroded areas is that the first 3 meters of top soil, are dry. The air temperature is also high and frequently there are strong winds. After planting in these dry areas the plant often has not got enough time to extend put its roots deep enough to find the ground water. The plant subsequently dries out and dies. The Groasis Technology helps the plant to grow its roots 3 or more meters deep in the first year. Once the plant reaches this depth, it is able to grow independently and will not die anymore. After that year you can remove the Groasis Waterboxx and plant the next tree with it. This is an incredible cheap method to plant.

Pieter Hoff says: ‘if a tree once grew there he can grow there again’, and, ‘if the area of 2 billion hectares was small enough to cut, it is also small enough to replant’.

The Groasis Technology is inexpensive

Planting trees with drip irrigation is extremely expensive. Once you use drip irrigation you have eternal costs for energy and maintenance. You must replace your pumps and tubes every 5 years. Besides that water is scarce and we better use it as drinking water. The Groasis Technology uses no pumps, tubes or energy, and very little water. Only in the first year you have some low costs.  After one year you never have costs anymore. Mother Nature has always been able to grow without irrigation. With the use of the Groasis Technology you can again use that power to grow sound and healthy products, without irrigation.

Cost indication

Replanting through agroforestry with the Groasis Technology will cost approximately 3,500 US$ per hectare. This estimation is including organization, labour, the Groasis Waterboxx and planting material. With the Groasis Technology you can plant 12 months per year. This year round planting is an important factor. It allows planting schemes on a very efficient way.

Good Return on Investment

You can use the Groasis Technology to plant orchards, plant productive forest, for ecosystem recovery or anywhere where planting without irrigation is impossible, or too expensive.  Upgrade the value of wasteland through our inexpensive money and water saving technology and create capital growth on a sustainable basis.





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