Mycorrhizal Fungi: The Supersoil Microbe
In every square inch of soil, there are billions of active microbes that make up a community of organisms living in and around the roots of plants known as the soil food web. The soil food web is a complex series of conversions and exchanges of energy between microbes and plants. A key member of the soil food web is mycorrhizal fungi, it equates up about 80% of the weight and biomass of all the beneficial microbes in the soil.
What is Mycorrhizal Fungi? This is beneficial fungus forms a symbiotic relationship with the roots of a host plant that provides the mycorrhiza with regular access to carbohydrates, their main source of food. In exchange, the plant gets access to the vast fungal network that helps retrieve and increase the availability of nutrients, water, and minerals. Mycorrhizal fungi has a straw-like body that attaches to plant roots and stretches out into the soil.
Not only does mycorrhiza increase access to food and water, they are experts at combating natural stressors and diseases. The fungal strands embedded in the surface of the roots acts as a barrier, deterring pathogens from accessing the roots. These same fungal strands tend to hold on to moisture, allowing the roots to access the water in times of drought.
Mycorrhizae is an incredibly beneficial microbe. The many benefits of mycorrhizae consist of:
- Greater efficient in uptake and storage of water and nutrients
- Increased plant establishment and survival rates of seedlings, cuttings, and transplants
- Increased nutrient availability, specifically Phosphorus
- More vigorous plant growth
- Increased crop quality and yields
- Increased plant and root system development
- Increased tolerance to high salt soils and fertilizers
- Increased fruiting and flowering sites
- Enhanced protection against soil-borne pathogens
- Reduced transplant shock
- Reduced drought stress
- Reduced fertilizer and water needs
- Increased microbial activity and nutrient cycling
- Improved soil structure and quality
Over 90% of plants form a symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi. Most common vegetable, food crops, and house plants associate with mycorrhizae. Some plants that do not associate with mycorrhiza is anything in the brassica family like broccoli and kale.
For over 14 years, Xtreme Gardening has offered a highly effective source of mycorrhizal fungi known as MYKOS. MYKOS allows growers and gardeners to experience high performing mycorrhizae at an affordable cost. MYKOS is available in granular form, great for soil amending and transplanting. MYKOS is also available in a wettable powder (WP) that is great for transplants and waterborne applications.
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