There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye in an organic garden that’s both healthy and productive. This dynamic network of living organisms in the soil helps plants thrive in addition to the more visible factors (sun, soil, plants, and water). Decomposition of organic matter by critters and microscopic organisms, transformation of nutrients and minerals, and a variety of processes all contribute to soil fertility. Mycorrhizae, which we regularly incorporate into our garden soil, is an important player in this vital “soil food web.”
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Explore the world of mycorrhizae by following this guide. What is mycorrhizae? How do you utilize it in the garden? And, most importantly, what are the plant benefits of mycorrhizae? You won’t believe how much better your plants will grow with this product! Many years ago, Aaron’s father introduced us to mycorrhizae in the garden, and we’ve been utilizing it ever since. Regardless of your level of interest in soil science, I’m sure you’ll find this intriguing!
Using Mycorrhizae in the Garden Has Many Advantages – Homestead and Chill Deanna | Homestead and Chill – Phát hành
What is Mycorrhizae?
You can think of “mycor-rhiza” as “fungus root” when you break it down. An important fungus, mycorrhizae, cannot thrive unless it is attached to a plant’s root system. It’s not only that the fungus benefit from the relationship! As a result of their mutually beneficial association, the host plant enjoys enhanced nutrient uptake and resistance to disease and stress as well as higher yields. Mycorrhizae’s benefits will be discussed in further detail in the following sections.
Mycorrhizal fungi are associated with almost 95% of the world’s plants. Some species, called ecto-mycorrhizae, only colonize the roots’ outer surface. These fungi form a close relationship with conifers, hazelnuts, and pecans, as well as other woody trees. Root cells are penetrated and become part of the root system by endo-mycorrhizae. They’re also a lot more common these days. An endo-mycorrhizal product manufactured for home gardens contains about 80% to 85% of the types of endo-mycorrhizae that are found in most edible garden crops and ornamentals.
What does mycorrhizae do?
It is possible to expand the absorptive surface area of roots by up to 700 times when mycorrhizae have colonized the plant’s roots. Imagine a vast array of tiny straws and fingers that can more easily and quickly access the soil’s water, nutrients, and air.
It’s also worth noting that mycorrhizal fungus emit enzymes that aid in the breakdown of nutrients in the soil. Phosphorus, iron, and other minerals become more readily available to plants as a result of this interaction. Mycorrhizae is not a fertilizer, thus it can only improve the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients already present in the soil. You will still need to amend the soil with compost and organic fertilizers on a regular basis to keep it healthy. Finally, mycorrhizal fungi construct complicated webs that gather and store extra nutrients in the soil for future use. This has a long-term effect on soil fertility.
In the end, what do the fungus gain from all this good deeds? What you need is food to solve this problem. Mycorrhizae helps plants better utilize resources for development and photosynthesis above ground, so the plants return sugars to their roots, where the fungi may feed off of them. Everybody wins!
Benefits of Using Mycorrhizae
Studies demonstrate that mycorrhizae provides plants with the following advantages:
- Increases the size of the plant and the quality of the leaves, making it darker and more lush.
- Flowers and fruits (bigger or more) are produced as a result. Farmers benefit from increased yields because they earn more money.
- Stress, heat, and other environmental changes are less likely to have an adverse effect.
- Drought-resistant and less water-hungry plants are the result of better water uptake.
- Reduces the danger of transplant shock, which can occur when new trees are planted or indoor seedlings are transplanted to the outdoors.
- Improved overall plant health boosts plant disease resistance. Other damaging pests, fungus, or diseases can’t get to the roots of plants that have mycorrhizal fungi colonized or coated by the roots. For example, mycorrhizae-colonized plant roots are more resistant to parasitic root-knot nematodes and root-chewing insects, according to research.
- Reducing the amount of fertilizer needed (and associated costs).
- It is less likely that harmful contaminants, such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which plants quickly absorb into their roots and tissues, will build up in crops and leave a residue.
- Soil structure and fertility are naturally improved, and a healthy soil food web is promoted.
Is it possible that this is a scam? See the images of the side-by-by-side trials for yourself. Plant Success mycorrhizae was used to inoculate one of the plants, which is the larger one in every photo!
Plants that Benefit from Mycorrhizae
Mycorrhizal connections benefit nearly all plant species! Flowers and fruiting horticultural crops including tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, cannabis, berries, fruit trees, and more benefit greatly from the ability of mycorrhizae to increase phosphorus bioavailability. Annuals and perennials alike will benefit, as will your ornamental flowers and shrubs. Herbs, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, garlic, and onions all benefit from the increased growth that mycorrhizae encourage.
One of the few plant families that does not create mycorrhizal connections is the brassica family. To be clear: Mycorrhizae have no effect on any of the aforementioned vegetables yet are not harmful to them either.
How to Use Mycorrhizae in the Garden
Healthy, organic soil should have some mycorrhizae organically present. You can cultivate a healthy and diverse soil food web by using organic gardening methods like compost, compost teas, cover crops, mulch, or no-tilling approaches. Soil is rendered sterile and uninhabitable by harsh chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides, even for beneficial organisms.
As previously said, the normal home garden, especially those that are just getting started, may take some time to establish a healthy population of mycorrhizal fungi. Fungi populations can also vary greatly from season to season or even from one bed to another. Mycorrhizae inoculation is the greatest approach to ensure that your plants get the benefits of helpful fungi in your garden.
- Adding granular mycorrhizae to the root ball or planting hole is an option when transplanting new plants into the garden or a larger container. Check out the images below. Re-wet the soil after you’ve applied your fertilizer and planted your seeds.
- Water-soluble mycorrhizae products are another great approach to add mycorrhizae to soil. If you want to boost established plants or transplanted ones, you can do this at any time (e.g. fruit trees or shrubs). Before watering with mycorrhizae seeds you’ve directly sown in your garden (such beans, peas, or garlic), wait until the plants are at least a few weeks old and have formed a couple sets of “true leaves,” which indicates they’ll have roots developed.
- Keep in mind that the fungi need to be in direct contact with living roots as soon as possible in order to thrive. Because of this, always put mycorrhizae around the root system of the plant. They are unable to hunt for their origins.
- Keep in mind that mycorrhizae is not a fertilizer; it just aids plants in their utilization of soil nutrients. So, don’t forget to add compost and mild organic fertilizer to your garden on a regular basis!
Our Favorite Mycorrhizal Inoculants
Numerous mycorrhizal goods can be found at retail outlets and on the internet. Mycorrhizae inoculants from Plant Success Organics have become a personal favorite of myself and my colleagues. They’re a well-known company with a solid reputation, and their organic gardening supplies are approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). That they include helpful microorganisms in their products is also a big plus for me. Bacteria also have an important function in the health of plants. When it comes to roots, consider of them as a kind of pre- and probiotics for plants. There is a direct correlation between probiotics, improved health outcomes, and the human stomach — and plants are no exception! (Plant Success customers can save 15% by using the promo code “DEANNACAT”).
Can mycorrhizae be harmful to plants?
Using mycorrhizal fungus products in your garden has little risk of hurting your plants, especially if you follow the application instructions supplied. Even yet, it’s hard to go too far. Like a result, mycorrhizae will not “burn” your plants as a high-nitrogen fertilizer might. Plant roots can’t create relationships with too many beneficial fungus, thus they will all die.
Where does mycorrhizal fungi come from?
Mycorrhizae and plants have a long history together, going back millions of years. Approximately 700 million years ago, according to genetic analyses, ocean-dwelling plants began to slowly migrate to land. The soil was hard and unforgiving, and the plants’ root systems were negligible. Plants and the fungus that previously dominated the earth formed alliances over time. To improve soil, plants developed more complex root systems, nutrient cycles were created, organic matter grew (and degraded), and terrestrial life as we know it flourished.
Select naturally-occurring beneficial strains of mycorrhizal fungi are now being ‘farmed’ or bred in facilities that make modern mycorrhizal goods. For the most part, fungi and mushrooms reproduce by releasing spores into an environment. A dormant form of the spores is subsequently harvested, processed into mycorrhizal inoculant products, and ultimately sold. When you deposit the spores in your soil, they will germinate and become a part of your plant’s root system as well!
Remember: feed the soil, not the plant!
Soil mycorrhizae are a vital aspect of an organic garden’s ecosystem because they produce and maintain rich, healthy soil rather than simply nourishing plants. I hope you enjoyed this introduction to mycorrhizae and took away something useful from it. No, I’m looking forward to getting started with mycorrhizae in my garden as well. The comments section below is open for inquiries, and if you find this post useful, please share it with your friends. Finally, we’d like to extend our gratitude to Plant Success Organics for their support of this post. And a big thank you to everyone who tuned in!
Peat moss spreading techniques are covered in this article. Peat moss is an excellent soil addition if you’ve been gardening for a long time. Only around 380 of the 12,000 kinds of moss are capable of producing peat.
How to Use and Spread Peat Moss for Your Plants
You can follow these steps to learn how to use peat moss in your gardening:
Step #1: Find out your soil’s pH level
Consider the type of plant you’re cultivating, as well as your soil’s pH level, before putting peat moss. Blueberries, holly, and gardenias are all acid-loving plants, thus peat moss is the greatest option for their care. Natural alkaline and neutral soils can also benefit from their application.
Step #2: Wet your peat moss thoroughly before using it
In a large container, place as much peat moss as you need. A few minutes after adding the water, stir in the peat moss and let it soak for a few minutes until it is totally saturated. Squeezing the moss should only release a few dribbles of water, not a torrent.
Avoid skipping this step, as dried peat moss will not hold water.
Step #3: Apply peat moss on top of the soil
Overlay your garden or soil with two to three inches of peat moss. Peat moss can be mixed with compost or potting soil in containers or raised beds. Perlite and peat moss can be combined if you’re beginning seeds in it.
Additionally, you can use a mixture of 1/3 perlite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 soilless mix.
It’s important to remember that peat moss doesn’t contain enough nutrients on its own, so be sure to fertilize your plants.
The Benefits of Peat Moss
Peat moss has a number of advantages, including the following:
Benefit #1: Peat moss prevents soil compaction
Peat moss, unlike other organic materials, is not dense. Compacted soil is useless to plants because it decreases water absorption. There’s a good chance that your plants may struggle to survive. Because peat moss holds water, your plants will be well-hydrated and the soil will be less likely to contract.
Benefit #2: Peat moss is a sterile medium
You can be sure that they don’t contain any dangerous chemicals, weed seeds, or other materials that could hurt your plants. Plants that require more attention and care can get off to a good start in this medium. In addition, peat moss is a fantastic addition to your starting mix for this very reason.
Benefit #3: Peat moss is absorbent
Peat moss, as previously noted, is an excellent addition to your garden since it retains water better than soil.
The Benefits of Growing Plants in a Semi pro Greenhouse
One of the best options you can make is to grow your plants in a semi-professional greenhouse. Some of the advantages of having a semi-professional greenhouse for growing plants include the following:
Protection from pests and diseases that can harm your plants
Rodents, moles, and deer are just a few of the larger animals that will feast on your garden food if they can get their hands on it. Diseases and infections are more likely to spread to plants that are exposed to the elements.
A semi-professional greenhouse is the greatest place to cultivate plants if you’ve had problems in the past with pests and illnesses. Insects and disease-carrying organisms are less likely to infiltrate this enclosed structure.
It’s a great alternative for gardeners who don’t have much space
It’s true that gardening necessitates a certain amount of outdoor space, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up gardening altogether. In the case of gardeners with limited room, a compact greenhouse is an excellent option. Mini greenhouses come in a typical six-foot length, making them ideal for balconies, living rooms, and decks.
A smaller version is available for those who don’t need the conventional semi-professional greenhouse’s dimensions. Even though these greenhouses are modest, they still provide the same advantages as larger greenhouses.
You can create your own microclimate
This is by far the greatest advantage of growing plants in a greenhouse. No matter what the weather is like, you’ll be able to provide your plants with a healthy atmosphere in which to develop.
Supplemental technologies such as heating systems and grow lights can be used to grow warm-weather plants in cooler places. Making a microclimate allows you to grow plants year-round.
Protection from bad weather
Extreme weather conditions, such as snow, ice, heavy rains, high winds, and storms, can readily harm even the most tenacious of plants.. In a greenhouse, they’ll be shielded from severe weather.
They’ll be able to grow and thrive inside the building. If you wish, you can move your plants outside once the weather warms.
The Bottom Line on How to Spread Peat Moss
Peat moss has both benefits and drawbacks, yet it is very beneficial for your plants. To guarantee that peat moss is used to its full potential, you need to know how to distribute it correctly so that it retains water, prevents weeds, and provides nutrients.