The magic of mycorrhizae
With movies like Fantastic Fungi there has been increased talk lately about the incredibly interesting nature of kingdom fungi. Let's take a closer look and see what all the fuss is about.
So what's the big deal?
Well, in nature, more than 90 percent of plant species form a symbiotic arrangement with beneficial soil fungi called mycorrhizae. After roots are colonized by mycorrhizae, threads or “hyphae” develop and can extend far into the surrounding soil environment. They literally inhabit most the earth's soils!
And why would plants allow this?
Mycorrhizae are fundamental in helping supply the water and nutrients needed for enhancing plant vigor. In exchange, they receive essential sugars and other compounds supplied by the plant. They also release powerful compounds into the surrounding environment which can capture nitrogen, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and other plant nutrients.
See, the fungus cannot produce enough food for itself, mainly carbohydrates, so it partners with plants that can use photosynthesis to produce an abundance of these carbs. They trade them with the soil organisms for various benefits.
Here is a list of some of those benefits:
- Enhanced nutrient and water uptake
- Enhanced roots
- Enhanced tolerance of drought stress
- Enhanced tolerance to transplant shock
So you see, adding these organisms to your roots is a great way to give your plants the tools for success!