Professional growers and home gardeners alike strive to keep their plants happy and healthy, but with so many products on the market, it can be hard to narrow down the best options for your grow. Root zone microbes have become an increasingly popular category of products for ensuring overall plant health. One of the most commonly used types of root microbes is mycorrhizae, which is why we recently added a mycorrhizal inoculant to our site called DYNOMYCO that allows growers to easily inoculate the root zones of their plants with beneficial fungi.
For those who are unfamiliar with mycorrhizae, read on to discover the function of these fabulous fungi and how they help plants thrive.
What are Mycorrhizae?
Mycorrhizae are fungi that colonize the root systems of plants. They come in many species, and each strain of fungi form relationships with specific host plants. Once in the plant’s rhizosphere, they form a web of connections between roots with structures called hyphae. The fungi use their hyphae to absorb nutrients, which they then exchange with the plant for sugars that they cannot form on their own. This exchange creates a symbiotic relationship between the fungi and the host plant.
The Many Benefits of Mycorrhizal Fungi
The symbiotic relationship formed between mycorrhizae and the host plant is beneficial for both the fungi and the plant. Mycorrhizae are not able to photosynthesize and would not be able to survive without the nutrients given to them by the host plant. While the plant host could survive on its own without the help of fungi, the mycorrhizae provide the plant with the benefit of an extended root system, allowing the plant to absorb nutrients and water that were previously out of reach or chemically unavailable. This is particularly apparent with phosphorus; on its own, a plant can uptake about 15% of the phosphorus in its fertilizer. With the addition of mycorrhizae, the amount of usable phosphorus increases to up to 90%.
This incredible increase in phosphorus use by the plant leads to stunning results aboveground. Plants that can fully utilize the nutrients in their soil in this way show a 10-40% increase in yield, stronger and more robust stems and stalks, and an overall increase in health and vigor.
How to Grow With Mycorrhizae
Mycorrhizae have an incredible impact on the plants they colonize, which is why growers seek out products to make adding these fungi to their garden easy. Cultivators can obtain mycorrhizae in a variety of ways, including:
DIY methods are popular with cost-conscious gardeners, but while they may save money, the results can be inconsistent. Many gardeners use a cross-contamination method of inoculating their plants by taking roots from a plant they believe has been successfully colonized by mycorrhizae and inserting it into the plant’s root zone. This may result in success; however, it can be hard to ensure that the plant gets enough spores of the right type to colonize effectively.
2. Inoculated Soil
Many gardeners who don’t want to run the risk of poorly inoculating their plants turn to commercial methods, such as purchasing soil already inoculated with mycorrhizal spores. Pre-inoculated soil is simple to use and can yield excellent results. However, if the soil is past its shelf life or was left in the sun for too long, it may contain expired or ineffective mycorrhizal spores. For this reason, it can be challenging to get the desired results with pre-inoculated soil.
3. Soil Amendments and Inoculants
Soil amendments are another commercially available method to inoculate your plants with mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizal inoculants like DYNOMYCO have a guaranteed concentration of spores, hyphae, and root fragments to ensure colonization. DYNOMYCO is formulated with stress-resistant strains that will survive until they are incorporated into the soil. Soil inoculants make it simple to assure results because it is easier to ensure the concentration of spores, proper distribution of propagules, and successful colonization of the root system.
Add Mycorrhizae to Your Grow
It’s clear how mycorrhizae have become an integral part of all gardeners’ arsenals over the years. Cultivators seek out these beneficial fungi for their ability to bolster plant health and production naturally by extending the root system and maximizing the use of soil nutrients. If you’d like to add mycorrhizae to your grow, be sure to check out DYNOMYCO for an easy-to-use inoculant for your plants!