What Does Root Mass Mean?
In horticulture, the term root mass refers to a plant's overall amount of root growth. Root mass refers to the actual roots; it is not to be confused with a plant's root zone or rhizosphere, which are terms that relate to the region of the soil or growth medium in the vicinity of the plant roots where the chemistry and microbiology is influenced by their growth, respiration, and nutrient exchange.
In order for any plant to truly flourish and reproduce, it must have a healthy and robust root mass. A plant relies on its diverse root system to support and feed its top growth. A plant’s root mass requires nutrients, space, and aeration to grow.
Maximum Yield Explains Root Mass
Without a healthy root mass, the plant’s top growth may be stunted and the plant is unable to produce buds, flowers, or seed reproduction. Certain growth methods, such as hydroponics, especially deep water culture (DWC) and aeroponics, actually focus on producing an abundant, healthy root mass in order to foster lush, ample top growth and optimal crop production.
A plant’s health is frequently measured by its root mass growth by growers. The plant is removed from the soil, growing medium, or pod, and its roots are spread across a grid pattern. Tracings can then be made of the root system to determine the plant’s growth. The number of roots can be counted and the diameter of certain roots also measured.
Some growers also use an acidic stain to mark roots so the growth can be closely monitored. When all the information on a root mass is closely watched and compiled, a plant’s overall health and growth patterns can then be determined by the grower so modifications can be made to improve the plant’s growth.