When I searched for information about the increasing fertility of plants, I came across a very interesting fact. Mycorrhiza improves plant growth and reproduction. And I decided to find out more about these fungi.
What are mycorrhizal fungi and their types? How to use them in gardening? What is the benefit of mycorrhizal fungi for an apple tree?
Today you’ll know answers to these questions.
What are mycorrhizal fungi and their types?
Mycorrhiza is fungi found on nearly 90% of plants on earth. It is a symbiosis of fungi and plants. The fungi are made up of long thin hyphae, these make contact with the root cells and then spread out into the surrounding soil in search of nutrients and water. Mycorrhiza in hundreds of times increases the absorbent surface of the roots, allows you to save up to 50 percent moisture, increases resistance to stress associated with a lack of water. It accelerates the growth of plants by half, protects the roots from the disease, and improves the shape of the tree. It allows the plant to obtain mineral substances, which cannot independently receive. For example, in a dry year, mycorrhiza performs the function of providing moisture to the tree, and the mushrooms, that participate in it, protect the root system, and hence the tree from pests. Its application is not only an environmental issue but also economic. After all, the more mycorrhiza, the less it is necessary to introduce chemicals in the soil.
There are three types of mycorrhiza: endomycorrhizal fungi (internal), ectomycorrhizal fungi (external), and ectoendomycorrhizal fungi (mixed). I’ll dwell briefly on each type.
Ectomycorrhizal fungi are more common for woody plants and quite rarely found in herbaceous plants. They consist of a hyphal sheath, or mantle, covering the root tip and hyphae surrounding the plant cells within the root cortex.
Endomycorrhizal fungi are characteristic of most herbaceous plants, and in this case, the fungus is mainly inside the tissues of the plant root. Mycorrhiza practically is not noticeable on the surface of the plant root due to the fact that a significant part of the mycelium the fungus penetrates into the cells of the root systems. The root hairs do not disappear.
Fairly widespread in plants mycorrhiza transitional type is ectoendomycorrhizal fungi. In this case, hyphae are densely woven the root of the highest plant on top and at the same time give abundant branches that penetrate deep into the root. Mycorrhiza can form goals communicating net and combine several plants, and thus to benefit each of them.
On the market, there is a supply of many mycorrhiza drugs in the form of substances of fungi mycorrhiza. These preparations have different commercial names, but the essence is to handle seeds, roots of the fruit, or put them directly into the soil. The optimal cost and effectiveness option is the use of Pseudomonas Aurefaciens and Trichoderma Lignorum bacteria.
How to use them in gardening?
Mycorrhiza actively helps plants to absorb nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus from previously unavailable combinations of soil, which increases yields with little need for fertilization and water. In addition, mycorrhiza provides plants with minerals, vitamins, enzymes, biostimulants, and hormones.
We can seed treatment before sowing to stimulate growth and destroy diseases for cereal crops. In this way, we populate the seed material with mycorrhiza-forming bacteria, which help the plant to create a strong symbiosis with fungi and bacteria. Periodic spraying of crops provides not only a permanent symbiosis but also protection against diseases and pests with simultaneous nutrition of plants by nitrogen. The value of these fungi is that they can be combined with complex drugs for nutrition and protection. At the same time, fertilizer can be adjusted. In particular, the norm of nitrogen fertilizers can be reduced by 8-10 times.
We can use it for fruit crops. However, most fruits have mycorrhiza on their roots. The treatment of roots of seedlings before planting in the garden not only provides protection from pathogenic microorganisms in the soil but also provides the formation of symbiosis with fungi and bacteria (the colonization of the root system by bacteria). The effectiveness of these fungi is quite high in the fight against fetal diseases (scab, powdery mildew, curliness, etc.).
What is the benefit of mycorrhizal fungi for an apple tree?
Endomycorrhizal fungi are always in an apple tree. But they are in a state of anabiosis (sleep) and they do not manifest themselves. The apple trees can quite well grow in the garden. However, their growth, fecundity, and condition are significantly improved with the involvement of endomycorrhizal fungi. Numerous studies have shown that of hormonal preparations of natural or artificial origin is required for the awakening of these fungi from the state of anabiosis.
When we plant the apple tree, we need to mix mycorrhizae with some soil in a ratio of 1 to 10. Do not use chlorinated water or we will kill the beneficial fungi. Avoid using soil fungicides. When we add after a tree has been planted follow these steps. We make some holes about six inches deep and about 3 feet in from the tree’s drip line. Add a scoopful into the holes and cover with the soil.
The preparation of mycorrhiza should be used after harvest, that is, in autumn. During the winter fungi form mycorrhiza with the roots of hibernating plants, and there will be noticeable results in the spring. Unlike plants, fungi do not fall into anabiosis in the winter and continue to be active. If you apply the drug in the spring, its active effect will be noticeable for the next year.
Advantages using mycorrhizal fungi for the apple tree. The apple tree receives enough water and a larger amount of nutrients. The area of absorption of moisture increases. The apple tree becomes resistant to weather conditions, not favorable soil composition, stress resistance, immunity to root infections. The effect of mycorrhiza stimulates the growth, flowering and fruiting of the tree. The qualitative characteristics of fruit improve. Strengthens the root system and improves the ability to root after transplantation.
So, using mycorrhizal fungi is good not only apple trees but for all plans. However, it’s hard to grow them in our garden. The solution to this problem is the popular mycorrhizal vaccinations. It’s a process of adding live mycelium of fungi in the form a powder or liquid, which makes the best conditions for plant growth.