A mycorrhiza (Gk.,: fungus roots, pl mycorrhizae, mycorrhizas) is a symbiotic (generally mutualistic, but occasionally weakly pathogenic) association between a fungus and the roots of a vascular plant.
I’ve been reading a great deal lately about commercial Mycorrhizal products reported to improve soil and benefit plants. “MycoBoost”, Mycorite and a host of other brand names claim to:
colonize plant roots, expand into the surrounding soil and greatly increase the root’s ability to absorb water and nutrients for healthier plants and turf. This “good fungi” also pushes out disease causing micro-organisms for better plant health. MycoBoost restores the natural partnership between plant and fungus for healthier, happier plants
I’m always looking for that kind of result so I did some research. My considered (and amateur) conclusion is that I’m not going to use the commercial products. Mycorrhiza exist in most soils and are just as specialized as many of the plants that occur naturally in the same area. In my garden,the local beneficial fungi co-exist with low bush blueberries, sweet fern, oak, spruce and white pine. Like many of the plants here they are probably “pioneers” – able to thrive in a harsh environment of sparse soil, salt air and extremes of temperature and humidity. Importing a foreign, concentrated variety overpowers the local fungi and then peters out, unable to survive for very long under those conditions. Also, it’s $20 @ pound plus shipping.
Mycorrhiza is encouraged by increased plant life, which then benefits plant life, and so on. I plan to encourage the plants, and have more respect for that white webby stuff that spreads under the mulch in the garden.
Now, I’m reading about potash. We’ll see where that goes. . .