A mycorrhizal fungi is a beneficial symbiotic relationship between a plant and a fungi. These fungi form strands of symbiotic relationships and network throughout your soil. This network of mycorrhiza can span miles and miles within one small cubic foot of soil.
Why Does This Matter?
This symbiotic relationship allows plants to draw additional nutrients and water that the root system itself would be incapable of. It also allows for the plant to resist disease and toxins. Mycorrhizal fungi can also be a great factor in drought tolerance, yield of fruit or flowers, prevention of soil compaction, ability to withstand the sowing process for seeds or transplantation, and overall microbial activity in the soil.
Having an extensive mycorrhizal fungi system will allow you to fertilize less, spray harmful pesticides and fungicides less, replace dying plants less, and water less often.
How Do I Encourage Mycorrhizal Relationships?
Here is a list of things that harm mycorrhizal relationships:
- Road and Home Construction
- Leaving Soil Bare
- Tilling Soil
- Chemical Treatment of Soil
- Removal of Topsoil
These practices can completely eliminate the mycorrhizal relationship in your soil. Doing so can leave plants in your landscape with a significant need for maintenance and upkeep from the homeowner as it is not being supplied organically.
You can add mycorrhizal fungi to your soil by using organic fertilizers that contain the correct fungi, or you can use a mycorrhizal inoculant such as those found at www.mycoapply.com or similar products.
Continued practices of not using chemicals, covering the bare ground that you can with mulch, decaying organic matter, or other plants, and not tilling or leaving the soil to erode will keep the mycorrhizal fungi at home and undisturbed. Having a variety of plants also encourages different types of mycorrhizal fungi to exist and in turn diversifies the protection to your plants.
Having mycorrhizal fungi in your soil is the cure to a problem you didn’t know you had. These little guys will be personal caretakers for your plants so you can direct all your energy somewhere else.