So you know we sell Mycorrhizae. And you hear quite a bit about it, but no one ever tells you what Mycorrhizae actually IS. In short – it’s a fungus. But there is so much more to it than that.
In researching Mycorrhizae, I was stunned to learn how much plants actually depend on these fungi to thrive. Soil, especially when it is nutrient-deficient, is made so much more valuable by the addition of Mycorrhizae.
There are a few different classifications of Mycorrhizae – Ecto and Endo being the most popular. Basically, the Ectomycorrhizae variety forms a sheath around your plant roots. Endomycorrhizae actually penetrate the roots of your plants. But what do they really do? And isn’t it bad to have fungus in your soil?
NO. It’s not at all bad to have certain fungi in your soil. There is a very healthy, symbiotic relationship that occurs between your plants and Mycorrhizae. One huge benefit of Mycorrhizae is they increase your plants ability to uptake what water and nutrients there are from the soil.So if you don’t have the greatest soil, Mycorrhizae will help your plants get as much as possible from it. Also, because of the ability to make the most of the water in the soil, this will help your plants be more drought resistant.
One really cool thing Mycorrhizae do is to send out microscopic shoots from the plant roots. These will help to break up the soil and increase air and water into the root zone. In excessively sandy soil, it will bind together to hold more moisture.
Mycorrhizae will also enhance the rooting of your cuttings, help increase root generation, increase salt tolerance, and even reduce transplant shock. These are hugely beneficial fungi. They have been found in the roots of plants up to 400 million years old – that’s crazy!
The cutting on the left was treated with Mycorrhizae. The cutting on the right was not.
Another huge benefit of Mycorrhizae is they are sustainable. This addition of Mycorrhizae actually improves your soil year after year, instead of depleting it like so many commercial fertilizers do. Indeed, Mycorrhizae are not a fertilizer – they are an addition of a symbiotic fungi to help your plant be more self-sufficient.
One other fungi that deserves mention here (especially since we have it in a combo pack with our Mycorrhizae) is Trichoderma. Trichoderma are fungi which are naturally occurring in soil as well, and help to suppress plant pathogens and have been in use and studied extensively since the 1920’s.
Trichoderma produces antibiotic substances, and since the Trichoderma colonize the plant roots (and will also sometimes penetrate the roots), this helps the plant to resist disease. Trichoderma can actually dissolve the cell wall membranes of other pathogenic fungi that may attempt to infect your plants.
Trichoderma can also aid hydroponic growth through their ability to increase the plants’ ability to uptake several nutrients, including copper, phosphorus, iron, and sodium.
So it sounds like these might be kind of difficult to deal with, considering they are live. But really, it’s very simple. For the both the regular Endo Mycorrhizae and the Trichoderma and Mycorrhizae blend we sell, simply 1 dry ounce with 1 gallon of water, and spray well. This will cover about 150 square feet. You can also use this mixture for a root dip or a transplanting aid. One thing to remember – don’t store this product for more than two days once it has been mixed; use the product within 12 months of delivery, and store it in a cool, dry area. The Endo Mycorrhizae is only $14.36 for 4 ounces, which will make 4 gallons of product. Myco and Tricho blend is only $8.50 per ounce.
As always, if you have any questions, please call us! 208-346-7194.