Organic Groundwork

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  What are Mycorrhizae?

     The word mycorrhizae literally means “fungus roots” and defines the intimate associations between plant roots and specialized soil fungi, the mycorrhizal fungi. Nearly all the world's land plants form some type of mycorrhizae, and with few exceptions, all major forest tree species form mycorrhizae.

     Two major mycorrhizal types prevail among forest trees: Rectory, which are formed with the important coniferous species of the Pinaceae and hardwoods in the Fagaceae and Bertulaceae; and Vesicular (VA) mycorrhizae, which are common on other hardwoods, particularly in the maples, sweet gums, cedars, and redwoods.

     Mycorrhizae benefit plant nutrition, growth and survival in many ways; the best known benefits are due in part to the exploration of soil for nutrients and water by hyphae to an extent far beyond the capabilities of roots alone. Some researchers estimate that mycorrhizal fungus hyphae can explore volumes of soil hundreds to thousands of times greater than can roots.

     Mycorrhizal fungi also produce growth regulators that stimulate feeder root elongation and branching, thus increasing the total number of feeder roots produced. Such root branching also benefits absorption of nutrients by increasing root surface area.

     Some mycorrhizal fungi produce dense mycelial mats in the soil for capturing nutrients, while others also produce rhizomorphs-large strands of parallel hyphae-that act as conduits for the flow of nutrients to and from the mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae also reduce root respiration, which would increase root longevity (Marshall and Perry 1987). Although VA mycorrhizal fungi do not alter gross root morphology, they too explore great volumes of soil with their external mycelia and thus return nutrients and water from a soil zone beyond the limits of root hairs.

     Other benefits of mycorrhizae include enhanced footings of cuttings, (Linderman and Call, 1977, Navratil and Rochon 1981), increased root regeneration, increased salt tolerance, and reduced drought stress. (Parke, et al, 1983a).

  The Benefits of Soluble Humates

  Biological Benefits:

  Chemical Benefits:

  Physical Benefits:

  • Stimulates plant enzymes
  • Acts as an organic catalyst
  • Stimulates growth and proliferation of desirable soil microorganisms as well as algae and yeasts
  • Increases root respiration and formation
  • Increases the availability of micronutrients
  • Increases the permeability of plant membranes, which increases the uptake of nutrients
  • Increases the vitamin content of plants
  • Increases the viability and germination of seed
  • Accelerates cell division and root development
  • Contains a wealth of micro-elements such as Si, Fe, Mg, S, Ba, B, Mn, Co, Ni, Ti, Mo, Cu, Pb, Ag and more
  • Increases photosynthesis in plants
  • Contains soluble silicon
  • Increases buffering properties of soil
  • Rich in both organic and mineral substances essential to plant growth
  • Retains water soluble fertilizers in the root zones and releases them to plants when needed
  • Has an extremely high CEC (cation exchange capacity)
  • Promotes the conversion of insoluble nutrients into forms available to plants
  • Reduces or eliminates many soil related phenomenon, such as dry spots on golf greens
  • Increases buffering properties of soil
  • Makes soil more friable and crumbly
  • Improves soil workability
  • Increases aeration of soil
  • Increases water holding capacity
  • Improves thermal coloring of soil