Rootbound – Who Me?


I learn so much outside in the garden.  I love being outside, I love working with my body, feeling the sunshine and watching nature.  It is my favorite thing about summer.  The thing is that when I am working in the garden my hands are so busy that my brain can relax and slip into “watcher” mode.  That’s when I feel like I hear God and when my brain automatically comes up with solutions to problems that I didn’t even know it had.  The garden is my meditation place.  My favorite place.

Today I want to talk about roots.  Roots are amazing. They anchor a plant to the ground and support it so it can stand in place, they absorb, transfer and store water and nutrients needed for growth and they filter toxins in the soil.  That really is amazing. 

When I bought annuals this year, I bought a lot a lot of plants one day.  I wasn’t very careful about checking their roots. When I got ready to plant, several were rootbound. That means that the plant had grown too big for its container and the roots grow in a tight circular fashion like the shape of the plant’s container.  If you plant them this way the roots will continue to grow in a circle and eventually choke the plant.  A gardener loosens the root ball, untangles the roots and spreads them out so that they can grow strongly into the soil. 

That’s what I did.  First, I flattened the root ball, then I carefully pulled roots from the side of the root ball. Then I pulled the roots from the bottom, untangling the circular growth so they would reach out to the soil. Next I carefully put the plants in soil that I prepared with plenty of food. Then I packed more soil around each plant, pushing down and firming it as I got to the soil line.  Finally I watered each plant and babied it for a few days until its roots started growing in its new home.

I started thinking about my own roots.  A few years ago my husband and some of my children stopped coming to church.  I felt like I was thrown into my own faith crisis as I talked and listened and understood their concerns.  I had to take a look at my own “spiritual” roots, they were a little rootbound for sure and they had grown to fit the container I was grown in – my own faith community where we had lived and participated each Sunday for 30 years.  I don’t know how plants feel when they get removed from their container, flattened and have their roots tugged and untangled, but I can tell you that for me, it was REALLY uncomfortable, even painful.  It took a while to untangle my roots, but once they were, I found rich soil and my life continues to flourish. 

Is it possible that you are root bound?  Have you paid any attention to your roots recently? We may find ourselves rootbound anytime in our life we face a life transition, a death, children leaving home, a new job, retirement or divorce.  These are all times to take a look at our roots and give them a little TLC.

If I can help with your roots, please reach out to me, we can get on a call and talk.

I am Jennifer with JennieB Coaching, I am a gardener, I help flowers, food and people grow. 

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