Author Topic: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology  (Read 6500 times)

Dan W.

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 12:52 PM »
John, are there any texts out there discussing this "viable ecosystem" specifically in relation to bonsai culture? - If not... would you consider writing on the topic?
 

John Kirby

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 01:33 PM »
Everybody (including me!) likes recipe books, aka cookbooks, to guide them. We have decades (if not more) of literature that discuss the practical application of X under Y conditions that give you Z results. Adding organic matter to plant production has been done for eons, moving plants out of "field soil" has been done for decades (can you say hydroponics?). However, the "why" these approaches work has not yet been solved. This is as true in some aspects of medicine as it is in horticulture- just think as to the number of procedures that have evolved over the past couple of decades- unbelievable.

So, I want to know the mechanisms by which things work, the Japanese have shown for decades how to grow bonsai in a defined medium. Which one you pick is up to you, the arguments on many of the bonsai fora revolve around doing things different than the Japanese because their approach doesn't work here- guess what, that answer is wrong, the approaches do work, you just need to know how to apply them and do it right. There really is not much to discover in Bonsai, the problem is taking what is known and to systematically apply it.

I'd love to have a conversation about the ecology of the bonsai pot growing environment, but it will need to be more than anecdotes.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2013, 02:15 PM »
Dan, I really like the "common folks" comment. It is important, really important, for science as an enterprise (and it truly is!) to back away from the foreign language that we use everyday to make things accessible to those who don't have specialist training- you want to have fun, watch me talk with the guy who is going to reroof my house as he talks about how he is going to do it- roofing contractors have some wicked jargon as well.

Before my current career turn, I used to train a number of graduate students, a point I worked really hard to instill in them is that if they can't communicate what they know to the audience in front of them- they have failed. So, my sole reason for bringing this up is to ensure that while we need to use the correct terminology and language (in science and in bonsai), we must strive to use an accessible language to teach, then the rest follows. Don't say shari and expect everyone at a first time bonsai workshop to know what you are talking about and I won't revel in the virtues of zymogens and the regulation of capacitation, the acrosome reaction and facilitated binding of the Zona Pellucida.
 

Dan W.

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 04:29 PM »
"Don't say shari and expect everyone at a first time bonsai workshop to know what you are talking about and I won't revel in the virtues of zymogens and the regulation of capacitation, the acrosome reaction and facilitated binding of the Zona Pellucida."

...uh...huh....

Haha! I agree whole-heartedly. It is the same in my profession (the Church); If we can't communicate in a way that the topic becomes practical and applicable to every day life for every day people then the information is essentially useless. Because it's not effecting change on any large scale. -- That's one reason I'm loving the book "Teaming With Microbes" so much; It is science that can make a large scale difference in how we live on... and effect this planet, which has been written in a way that it becomes accessible and useable to gardeners on a day to day basis... not just the ones who can decipher scientific jargon. 
 

John Kirby

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 08:08 PM »
Nathanbs, Ijust saw your post, Boon did not discover America, his was more like the old Eddie Murphy film "Coming to America", his venture just got stuck in the bay area......
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2013, 12:28 PM »
CEC has also been a topic over on the orchid growing forums. Unfortunately, as happens here, the discussions usually break down into psuedo-scientific gobbly gook, or one grower insisting their way is the ONLY way that this plant or that could possibly survive.

The fact is, it is the interaction of a number of variables that creates the growing environment, and that the plants will thrive if enough of the variables are in the 'close enough to get by' range. This means there are hundreds of configurations of soils and fertilizer and water chemistry that will work, and often they look mutually incompatible. And most of these configurations were arrived at without any knowledge of CEC, or the science behind it.

I have been avoiding 'spinning up' on CEC because it always seems a daunting topic to fully understand and fraught with the pitfall that it won't really help with figuring out what works. My best sources of what works are visits with local growers. I look at their trees, if they look healthy, I ask what they do and look into how they grow. If they don't look good, I would still ask, and remember that configuration as not being a good 'recipe'.

Key is local, the interaction between local water, and climate and available materials for making potting mixes.
 

Dan W.

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2013, 11:34 PM »
Leo, I agree that there are many "recipies" that work. Some work great and some don't... . I'd really like to know the science behind the recipies though... Why they work :) -- I want my plants not to just get by but to thrive... and I want to intentionally help that along rather than guess.. .I make more mistakes when I'm guessing...lol :)
 

akeppler

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2013, 12:08 AM »
Quote
Most books on growing plants contain an explanation of the soil Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). This is one measurement of the ability of soil to hold nutrients. We’ve all seen the diagram: a root with positively charged hydrogen ions on its surface comes into contact with clay and organic particles that are covered with positively charged nutrient ions. The hydrogen ions swap places with the nutrient ions and the plant root gets its nutrients.

Clay is always positivly charged and roots are positivly charged.  Positively charged hydrogen ions in roots "are not" attracted to  positively charged nutrient ions. They do not swap places.  Positively charged hydrogen ions in roots "are" attracted to negatively charged nutrient ions, as long as they are conditioned by humates. The Humic acid is the catalyst that changes the positivly charged clay ions to negative allowing the roots to attach to the clay.

Non organic (chemical fertilizers with out humates) tend to wash thru clay soils. Akadama works best when used with organic fertilizer having the capacity to change the clays polarity. And yes...humates have been used in agricultural applications for eons.

Root, nutrient, soil polarity is simple science and easy to understand as placing two magnets together. Positive to positive repel and humates catalytically have the ability to change one to negative. The Japanese have known this for centuries with their use of Clay soil and rapeseed cake fertilizer exclusivly. Whether they actually "know" that or not is moot. What is important is that it works.

Thanks Mr. Kirby, I did not discover America...I discovered the Sledgehammer ;D
 

Dan W.

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2013, 12:31 AM »
Thanks Al, I've been using nutrients and mycorrhizae with humic acid, along with organic fertilizers since you posted about humic acid in the past. It sure seemed to help... now I know why! :)
 

0soyoung

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2013, 02:12 AM »
The Humic acid is the catalyst that changes the positivly charged clay ions to negative allowing the roots to attach to the clay.

Non organic (chemical fertilizers with out humates) tend to wash thru clay soils. Akadama works best when used with organic fertilizer having the capacity to change the clays polarity. And yes...humates have been used in agricultural applications for eons.


I've repeatedly observed that roots of my plants are attached particles of the Turface that I use. My understanding is that Turface is just a fired clay. Does this contradict what you are saying or is there another mechanism by which roots can adhere to Turface particles instead of / in addition to electrostatic?
 

akeppler

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2013, 06:53 PM »


 
I've repeatedly observed that roots of my plants are attached particles of the Turface that I use. My understanding is that Turface is just a fired clay. Does this contradict what you are saying or is there another mechanism by which roots can adhere to Turface particles instead of / in addition to electrostatic?

Not attach physically, metaphorically.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2013, 03:12 AM »
I come to this forum because I am excited about Bonsai. I want to learn from knowledgeable people on this forum. If I got to see Boon or Ryan style a tree I would probably think that was pretty great myself. Well, I would go see Boon Sunday at Lake Merritt but there is a particular football game on and one has to have their priorities straight.
 

Dan W.

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2013, 07:44 AM »
I guess my priorities are out of line then...lol

Football is great...but Boon discovered America...or was it Al...or...oh well...

Seriously though, if I had the opportunity, I would choose Boon any day. Of course if you live out that way it may not be as rare of an opportunity.
 

dre

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2013, 07:46 AM »
i would go see boon over seeing the big game. word of advice there are a lot of boon's students on here that are very sensitive to people dropping other bonsai professionals besides boon
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Nice piece on CEC and plant cell biology
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2013, 09:28 AM »
Not sure that was entirely necessary.

The BIB show is the best I've been too. I'm looking forward to the Artisan's Cup in October.