by Sunny Datko
The word “mycorrhiza” (plural: mycorrhizae or mycorrhizas) comes from the Greek language and literally means “fungus roots.” Mycorrhizal fungi attach themselves to plant roots and actually help plants to make use of water and organic nutrients in the soil. They live on the roots of nearly 95% of Earth’s plant species, including most herbs and flowers. In exchange for what they provide the plant, the plant offers the fungi a meal of sugars (fixed carbon) produced by the photosynthesis process.
What are the Benefits of Mycorrhizal Fungi?
1. Improved Root Growth – Mycorrhizal fungi populate the area around a plant’s roots and form very thin filaments, adding to the length and efficiency of a plant’s roots. This is like having a second set of roots for the plants.
2. Increased Nutrient Absorption – Mycorrhizal fungi release powerful enzymes that dissolve tightly around bound minerals like phosphorus and iron, and they can absorb all the major and minor nutrients used by plants. The nutrients are absorbed by the mycorrhizae and transported back to the plants.
3. Increased Tolerance to Adverse Conditions – Plants, trees, and shrubs with a well established mycorrhizal fungal root system are better able to survive adverse environmental conditions and transplant shock. Plants with mycorrhizal fungi can survive better in a wide range of environments, such as urban areas and home gardens
4. Reduced Drought Stress – The fungal filaments take up and store water, decreasing drought stress during dry periods. They also bind soil particles into larger aggregates with organic glues such as humic acid. The resulting soil structure allows air and water movement into the soil, encouraging root growth and distribution.
5. Increased Immune System – Mycorrhizal fungi also boost a plant’s immune system, making them resistant to soil-borne pathogens. In addition, they help to keep parasitic nematodes away.
Mycorrhizal Fungi & Your Garden
Research shows that the lack of mycorrhizal fungi can create problems with many plants, shrubs and trees when they are growing in our gardens. However, the good news is that you can stimulate the growth of mycorrhizal fungi and get them to work more efficiently with the use of mycorrhizal fungi inoculants, such as Orca and Great White. These products help to restore or create the necessary presence of mycorrhizal fungi in your garden. With effective use, plants can grow greener, healthier, and make better use of water and nutrients. With time, the roots will grow and perform better as the mycorrhizal fungi continue to establish themselves on the roots.
Spotlight on Great White
Great White represents the most advanced mycorrhizal products on the market today. The combination of mycorrhizae, beneficial bacteria, trichoderma, and plant vitamins will give your plants a strong and developed root system. This will enable your plants to break down and absorb nutrients efficiently and effectively. Also it will increase water uptake and the overall absorption area of the root system, resulting in a healthier plant. Can be used in hydroponics as well as soil.