What they are and why to use them in the garden

Cultivating the garden organically does not mean being at the mercy of adversity and helplessly watching the attack of insects and fungal diseases. These problems, which can destroy the harvest, are not only combated by the use of chemical pesticides or fungicides, but also by eco-sustainable defense strategies, based on processes already existing in nature. In this sense, one of the latest advances in organic farming is mycorrhiza: a revolutionary technique that takes advantage of the positive association between fungi and the root system of the plant.

By mycorrhizae we refer precisely to this symbiotic relationship that is created in the rhizosphere, the portion of soil adjacent to the roots of the plant. The term “mycorrhiza” already says it all: mycos is the Greek word for fungus while rhiza means root.

The symbiosis between the fungus and the plant therefore takes place in the root system of the plant and involves a mutual exchange of benefits between the two organisms involved: by feeding and creating an environment favorable to useful microorganisms and unfavorable to agents. pathogens and parasites.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Types of mycorrhizae

    • Ectomycorrhiza

    • endomycorrhizal

  • Benefits of mycorrhizae

  • Where to find and how to use mycorrhizae

Types of mycorrhizae

There are different types of mycorrhizae: ectomycorrhizae and endomycorrhizae.

ectomycorrhizae

ectomycorrhizae they are fungi that only colonize certain species of plants, especially trees, forming a fungal layer on the outside of the plant, among which we mention truffles.

endomycorrhizae

endomycorrhizae they are symbionts that penetrate the tissues of the host plant and play a crucial role in its ability to absorb nutrients. Inside the cells, the mycorrhiza forms branched structures (bushes) and ovoid structures (vesicles), while outside it expands the mycelium without exceeding a distance of a few centimeters from the root. Endomycorrhizae can colonize 95% of plant species and are the most interesting for agriculture because they can be a great help for the development of garden plants and fruit trees.

Mycorrhiza cannot colonize plants of the Brassicaceae family (ie cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, arugula, etc.) and Chenopodiaceae (spinach, ribs, beets, etc.). Thus, for these types of vegetables, the technique cannot be used, whereas it can be tested successfully on all the other families of horticultural plants.

Benefits of mycorrhizae

Increase in the root system which can be up to seven times larger than that of a normal plant.

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Creation of favorable conditions for the life of useful microorganisms : some of these microorganisms are responsible for the transformation of various nutrients necessary for the plant (for example nitrogen-fixing organisms), other microorganisms fight against the spread of pathogens (fungal diseases), others inhibit nematodes.

This involves extraordinary benefits for the plant:

Improved nutrient absorption capacity (such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper), thanks to the micro-organisms of the rhizosphere. As a result, less fertilizer will be needed in the crop, optimizing the substances present in the garden soil, and this can also improve the organoleptic qualities of vegetables and aromatic herbs.

Better resistance to drought , thanks to a greater capacity to absorb and store water, thanks to the more developed root system. In the garden, this means plants are watered less often and respond better to the heat of the summer months.

Better resistance to fungal diseases obstructed by mycorrhizae with a mechanical barrier effect.

Repellent effect on nematodes due to micro-organisms that develop between the roots of mycorrhizal horticultural plants.

Less suffering of garden seedlings during transplanting thanks to a more reactive root system.

In conclusion, mycorrhizae make it possible to have more vigorous plants in the garden that resist most adversities (from drought to fungal diseases), reducing the need for fertilizers with a completely natural technique. A real biological revolution.

Where to find and how to use mycorrhizae

If you’ve been intrigued and want to try this innovation, there are also products designed for hobbyists and horticulturists that contain mycorrhizal fungi and other beneficial microorganisms. For the technique to give results, it is necessary to use the appropriate product and to administer it correctly, reaching the mycorrhization of the entire root system of the plant.

We advise you to take a look at the Geosism & Nature site which offers several mycorrhizal products. To find out how to best use them in your garden, you can ask Dr. Simone Barani (info@geosism.it or 348 8219198), who, with his experience, has given us indispensable support in writing this article.

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