Nearly all plants on earth rely on mycorrhizal fungi for nutrients and moisture. Many plants are extremely dependent and can struggle to survive without the beneficial fungi (grapes and roses are examples). Most plants use the “Endo” types of fungi that physically enter into roots. Pines, Oaks and a few others use “Ecto” types that form a sheath around the roots. The widely adapted types of Endo/Ecto spores in our products are useful for nearly all plant-soil-climate situations.
Plants and mycorrhizal fungi operate as a single working unit in nature. The plant performs photosynthesis and other above-ground functions, and the fungi handle underground nutrition-gathering and protect the roots. It is not normal to grow plants without mycorrhizae on the roots – this is often the cause of disease and insect problems!
Soils are greatly improved by the fungi sending millions of tiny root-threads far out from the plant roots. These root-threads separate clay platelets to allow essential air and water into the root zone, or will bind together sandy soil to form a moisture-holding biomass. Marginal, salty, and damaged soils can often be made productive with the introduction of mycorrhizal fungi.
The fungi are not an “add-on” to a chemical fertilizer routine – They are best used “instead of.” Many plant foods, especially fast-acting liquids, harm microbial activity in the soil and create fertilizer-dependent plants. The new grower objective is to cut back on using plant food, and to instead create good populations of specific microbes that will take care of plant nourishment.
Biological methods create plants that are more self-sufficient, usually needing only crop residues (such as mulched grass clippings for lawns), plus occasional applications of compost and trace minerals. If more fertilization is ever required, use only light amounts of dry organic products that will release nutrients very slowly. We recommend no-till or limited-till practices, plus the use of cover crops and mulches whenever possible.
Be patient after inoculation – the fungi spores/propagules will need several days to activate, attach to plant roots, and then colonize the surrounding soil before their effects become noticeable. Once established, this low-input biological approach to growing plants is clean, powerful, and sustainable – soils will actually improve year after year instead of being depleted