Each autumn, the world outside is getting ready for a change.
Birds are migrating to find warmer wintering grounds. Mammals are eating a lot to increase their fatty insulation and are putting food away for the winter. Trees are dropping their leaves and going dormant. (Read about that here)
What about other plants though? How do other plants, like prairie plants or lawn grasses, survive the winter?
Perennial plants --- those that come back year after year --- rely on their root systems to stay alive and get ready to push up new shoots next spring. In the fall, you might see the tops of plants turning brown, drying out and dying off. The plants won't need the leaves and stems to photosynthesize through the winter, so the top of the plant dies while the roots live beneath the ground.
The roots will also get rid of as much water as they can, because too much water makes it easy to freeze. When a plant freezes, its cells burst and die.
The roots also gather in sugar, salt, antifreezing proteins and change their fat composition to keep from freezing in frigid temperatures and to be able to adjust to the ups and downs of winter temperatures.
Basically, plants work hard in the autumn to protect themselves from the cold and to avoid ice building up inside.
Then, when the spring thaw comes, they're ready to start growing and photosynthesizing to make food once again.
The weather is chilly, but that doesn’t mean that kids hibernate. Your kids are still as active as ever, and they want something to occupy their time. You want something to occupy their time too. Why not print off our fall scavenger hunt? There are indoor and outdoor items to find, and you can add…Read More
Fall is the time of year to look at leaves. We pick them up and marvel at colors. We rake them up in the yard. We jump in the piles and toss them in the air. But what kind of leaf are you looking at? We have put together a list of different kinds of…Read More
You picked up a brown bur oak leaf and get grossed out that it looks like it’s molding. But those fuzzy spots on the leaf aren’t mold; in fact, they’re galls. A gall is a growth on a plant that develops due to insects that majority of the time. A female gallmaker insect — of which…Read More
We live in Iowa because we like seasons. If we didn’t like seeing leaves bud in the spring and fall in autumn, if we didn’t like to see snowflakes dust the ground, if we didn’t like to a warm fire outside on a cool evening, we would all live in the tropics. This winter has…Read More