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What Is Mycorrhizae?

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What Is Mycorrhizae?

Starting our plants off on the right foot is essential to their long-term survival and productivity.  There are a handful of ways we can do this. Over the last few years there has been a stronger emphasis on soil health.  Understanding what makes a healthy soil brings a lot of considerations to the table.

Mycorrhizae

Let’s take some time to understand what this funny word is and why it is so important to plant and soil health.  Mycorrhizae is a beneficial fungus that lives in symbiosis with plants.  Over the years, our understanding of this fungus has grown to the point where we now understand that almost every single plant requires a relationship to survive.  Imagine a plant is a feather duster. A feather duster is made up of a handle (for this explanation we will call it the stem or trunk) and a whole bunch of wispy feathers.  At the center of each feather is a stronger “vein” or we could think of it as a root.  If we stop there, we would have an ineffective feather duster.  Actually, it sounds kind of dangerous.  However, branching off along the entire root of our feather duster are smaller/finer parts of the feather.  In this case, those smaller/finer parts of the feather would be the Mycorrhizae.  It is once we add the finer part of our feather duster that we are able to do some work.   As the plant’s roots grow into the soil they are only able to come into contact with so much of the soil, it is the Mycorrhizae that really get into the small spaces of a soil and increases their ability to take in more of the available nutrients from the soil.

Why We Should Care

So, why do we need to know about this?  New plants are grown in sterile environments. They are not introduced into natural environments where Mycorrhizae is naturally occurring.   This makes transplant shock and establishment difficult.  In addition to this, many of the regular practices we employ destroy the organisms in the soil including Mycorrhizae.  This is one of the major reasons low/no-till gardening has become more prevalent over the years.  Trees and shrubs have the longest time to establish.  Anything we can do to speed up the recovery time for them is a major plus.  Adding Zamzows 3-2-1 Grow Planting Tablets, along with some good compost and Zamzows Thrive, puts everything a new plant needs to be inoculated with multiple varieties of Mycorrhizae and food that will speed up recovery and reduce the effects of transplant shock and get our vegetables producing faster.

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