Most organic gardeners know that beneficial insects can be used to help control destructive insects. Ladybugs eat aphids and Trichogramma wasps feed on pesky webworms. Likewise, healthy soil hosts lots of beneficial microscopic organisms that can help control pests and diseases like beneficial nematodes and “good” bacteria.
Healthy soil is also full of fungus. Several types of fungi aid plants in their efforts to soak up nutrients. In healthy soils, mycorrhiza is a naturally occurring fungus known to aid in the uptake of nutrients by its symbiotic relationship with the feeder roots of plants. University and field trials have documented significant improvement in the establishment of roots and subsequent growth by inoculating the soil or planting medium with mycorrhiza.
It’s easy to restore mycorrhiza lost due to synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Mycorrhizal fungi is available in a variety of forms, either alone or combine with other ingredients that can you can add to your garden beds or containers. These beneficial fungi build a natural microbial system, which greatly enhances plant growth, vigor and tolerance of environmental extremes. They colonize roots and extend into the surrounding soil to form an essential link between plant and soil resources, greatly increasing the root’s ability to absorb water and nutrients, while improving plant yields and health.
When you add Mychorrhizal fungi to your soil, your goal should be to create physical contact between the roots of your plants and the fungi. It can be banded under seed, worked into seed beds, placed under cuttings, blended into potting soil, sprinkled near roots at transplant time, or watered in as a liquid. For vegetable gardens, apply 1 teaspoon per row foot. For cuttings, use 1/2 teaspoon under each cutting. When transplanting potted plants, use 1 to 2 tablespoons per one-gallon planter. For ball and burlap plantings, use 1/2oz to 1-1/2oz per inch of stem caliper. It’s amazing what a little mycorrhiza can do!
Water and fertilizer needs
Flowering and fruiting
Water and nutrient storage and uptake
Extensive root system
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