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I’m sometimes asked why we put so many different types of mycorrhizal spores in our inoculant products (9 Endo types, plus an additional 7 Ecto types in the Landscape Inoculant and MycoMinerals).

Well, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to predict exactly which type fungi will perform best in different soils on various plants (especially on introduced plants, such as tomatoes or melons which are not native to most areas). Therefore, to be sure that at least one of the fungi types will function well for our customers, we take a “shotgun” approach with several types of spores.

Some Endo types, such as Glomus intraradices, are “generalists” that happily attach to nearly any plant in any soil/climate situation and produce abundant spores. This is why G. Intraradices is included in virtually every inoculant product on the market, even though it might not produce the strongest results.

Other types, such as Paraglomus brasilianum, were proven in USDA tests to be powerful companions to grapes. As major wine grape vineyards have been regular users of mycorrhizal inoculants for many years, we wanted to be sure to include strong grape-friendly types. Still others, including G. deserticola and Gigaspora margarita, have shown an ability to match up with plants in alkaline soils; and G. mosseae in acidic soils.

But why stop at nine types of Endo spores? There are, after all, more than 150 named types of the beneficial fungi. The answer is that you want to be sure you have several spores of each proven type in each dose. Blending in too many types means that there may be too few of each per dose.

Some day, I would expect to see regional or more soil/plant-specific blends available, but for the moment our lineup of spores represents the state of the art.

On another topic, I would also like to introduce you to Mr. Graham Phillips. Graham will now be handling all the business functions of BioOrganics, while I begin making my move toward retirement. I’ll still remain in an advisory role with the company, but have decided that the time has come for an orderly transition to new management.

I’ll also be moving from Palm Springs – it gets much too hot for outdoor gardening work during summer months here. My new home will be in Bear Valley Springs, about 40 miles east of Bakersfield in the Sierra foothills near Tehachapi. This is prime apple-growing country with many organic farms nearby. With an acre of ground to work with, my new orchard and big garden beds are already all planned out. (Yes, I will be getting a snow shovel, too!)

The past 15 years with BioOrganics have been very interesting for me, and I’ve enjoyed corresponding with many of you. I’ll probably do more newsletters, but just wanted to let you know of the changes that are afoot.

Thank you and good growing, my friends,

Don Chapman

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