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Mycorrhizal Fungi

Mycorrhizal Fungi

We know of a totally natural organism which has been around for 500 million years but has never been needed more than it is today.

An organism that naturally draws the soils nutrients to your plants, helps them through drought (or you forgetting to water !) and needs only to be introduced to every plant once in its lifetime.

An organism that will replenish worn out soil, save digging and make your compost and organic fertilizers work really, really efficiently.

An organism that will give a new gardens and plants, including ‘bare root’ transplants a wholly organic bio active soil in weeks rather than years - without a chemical in site.

An organism that will enhance the plants Rhizosphere ( it means the root zone - O.K. I know I’m showing off again ! ) over 700 times during its life, enable your plants to out compete the weeds and ensure that even the heaviest clay soil releases all its good stuff directly into your plants systems.

( Including the phosphorous and potassium so essential for strong growth and beautiful flowers - you can almost hear your roses sigh with contentment )

An organism which holds Carbon dioxide - C02 - into the soil. Soil which, for all sorts of modern reasons, is releasing over 4 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere every year - and that’s just from England and Wales.
( One of the reasons we like Coir so much, taking out peat releases loads of carbon.)

An organism of which some forms produce foods which I don’t think I could ever afford - Truffles
( although also Chanterelles and Porcini for us cheaper end of the market !)

An organism called

Mycorrhizal fungi.

“Pardon” - I hear you say !

This fungi’s symbiosis with plants was working even before the dinosaurs turned up.
The arrangement is very simple really.

Mycorrhiza’s “roots” attach themselves to the plant’s root system.
These roots are called hyphae, and mycorrhiza actually means ‘fungus root’.
( Oh, please let me show off occasionally !)
They are much, much better than the plant’s roots at absorbing water and all the soils essential good stuff, including trace elements.
This is mainly because the fungi’s hyphae have a much bigger relative surface area, and they expand much more quickly.

The fungus then ‘swaps’ all this water and essential goodies with the plant for sugars and other stuff which the fungus really loves.
A real “winners all round” situation - including us natural gardeners !

This fungus is a very sensitive little soul though. It just hates the soil it lives in being dug up too much.

( Joe’s ears went up when I said this, mind you they did when I mentioned symbiosis - he thinks it’s a rude word ! )

Not liking being tossed and turned means that mycorrhiza is often very scarce in the gardens of new houses, in soil which is regularly dug deeply, or even in ground forked over regularly.
So often our new plants and shrubs don’t do as well as we would like.

Well, why not pour on loads of chemical fertilizer, it seems quite cheap ?

Mycorrhiza, along with lots of other living, essential organisms in the natural microscopic ecosystem, will pack whatever fungi pack and move out quickly - if they still have the time !

What do you do then - more fertilizer of course, particular as most of it has now leached away.
Your plants become fertilizer addicts - have you ever seen a healthy addict ?
Stressed out and addicted, these poor plants are easy prey to pests and diseases.
So then you dose them up with more chemicals, and ‘protect’ them with pesticides.

So by trying to help growth, we really are upsetting the best natural growth aid we could possibly have.

Where’s the Natural Cycle now ?

Oh, sorry !
I’m on my orange box again !!

Though I will just say that mycorrhizal fungi really helps plants get the best out of organic, natural helpers. Green compost and, of course, our Neem and hand harvested Seaweed.

This mycorrhiza stuff sounds just too good to be true, I hear you say.

Well aren’t you the old cynic then - just like I was.

We look into things, and try them out, pretty thoroughly before even thinking of offering them for sale.
We look at things very carefully, but the RHS are, if anything, even more careful.

But they certainly endorse Rootgrow Mycorrhizal Fungi !

It’s no wonder really, the botanists tell us that well over 95% of plants benefit from this relationship.
Feeding and helping plants through drought, heat, cold, diseases and pests - I mean, what’s not to like ?

It’s Natures Natural Cycle - 500,000,000 years old.

Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough now (shouting “Hear, Hear” is very rude ) so how about some proof.

In the White Horse Wood Project in Kent, 25,000 mixed native trees were planted !

After three years growth the trees treated with “Rootgrow” mycorrhizal fungi were
three times the size of the untreated plants !

“The differences are astounding, I am convinced of the benefits mycorrhizal fungi can bring to such planting schemes.” Said Tim Owen of the Kent County Council.

You can judge yourself - but by his photograph, but I don’t think he’s a man given to extravagant statements !

Three years a long time to wait for results ? Well these are some Alders after 3 months !
Guess which side was treated with Mycorrhiza .
( No, there’s no prizes !! )

All right, enough with the trees.
How about looking at an ordinary old ‘Busy Lizzie’ during one season.

Early in the season

Mid Season

A lot more flowers, and really nice growing shape.

End of Season

That old Mycorrhiza is still helping the plant to flower away !
(Again no prizes for guessing which one it’s helping.)

How about this for an interesting picture - I find it quite creepy.
It shows exactly what you can do when you “improve” the soil.
This is a pretty dry field, which has to be irrigated regularly.

The onions in the front have been grown in sterilized soil,which certainly cleared out all of that untidy mycorrhiza.Well is ‘grown’ quite the right word - in spite of lashings of fertilizer.

The onions at the back were treated with mycorrhiza.
They were really helped naturally to get the benefit of the scarce water.
( As well as all those essential nutrients.)

O.K. you say, what 5% of the plants doesn’t Mycorrhizal fungus help ?

Well, they’re a few, Brassicas, Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Heathers.
But it certainly does not harm them, and they really are in a minority.

While for the rest it’s the most economical, most natural and most effective help you can give your plants and shrubs.
Simply allowing them to get the most out of all that natural goodness around them.

Let that old Natural Cycle keep on turning, we know that can do no harm !

Just sprinkle the granules, very meanly, around the pot or planting hole into which you are planting. You just need enough to cover the roots, any more is wasted.

There are full instructions on the pack, but as an idea a 360 gram pack will allow you enough to treat at least 72 half litre pots, just a level teaspoon in each.
( That’s about 15p a plant - which will last the plant’s lifetime ! )

That’s all very well I hear you cry, but how about treating plants already in the garden ?
No problem.

Think of some, perhaps very small, plants that would go with it, and treat them. Then plant them around your established plant, you mycorrhiza will soon reach out to say hello.
(We did this with an ornamental cherry tree and some autumn crocuses.)

60 Gram Sachet - about 15 ½ Litre ‘Potsworth’

Buy Now
360 Gram Packet - about 72 ‘Potsworth’ £9.00
Buy Now

and for the really big garden
2.25 KG Tub - about 450 ‘Potsworth’

Buy Now

You know of course our ½ litre ‘Potsworth’ is just a guide, but you can use it to work out whatever you need.

For example you can plant out about 18 two litre potted shrubs with a 360 gram packet.

Colin Crosbie, RHS rootgrow endorsement.

Colin Crosbie, Curator at RHS Garden Wisley, has given us the go ahead to show you his comments on Mycorrhiza – thanks Colin !

Colin said,
“For a number of years we have been using rootgrow for tree planting. We consider the rapid establishment of the mycorrhizal fungi essential for healthier trees. So far, we’ve had nothing but success”
"For me, using rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi has become one of the most important ingredients to ensure planting success"

"At RHS Garden Wisley, we use rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi when planting trees and shrubs and we are now starting to use it when planting perennials"

"It is common sense to offer a plant what it requires from nature at the very start, using rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi simply speeds up the process"

"mycorrhizal fungi is probably the most important partnership a plant will have, using rootgrow when planting will kick off this essential relationship"

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