Friday, June 13, 2014

Mycorrhizae - Helpful Fungi for the Growing Plant

Fungi are organisms that rely on other living things to get their nutrients. Most people are familiar with fungi of two types - mushrooms which rely on dead or dying organic matter (like mulch or compost) and yeast used in cooking.  Most people are vaguely aware that fungi can be helpful (making alcohol or leavening bread).  Few people, however, how vital fungi can be to the roots of a growing plant.

Mycorrhizae, from myco - fungus and rhiza - root, are fungus that associate with the roots of a growing plant.  These fungi almost always have a mutually beneficial (symbiotic) relationship with the plants near them.  The fungus derive carbohydrates (sugars) from the roots of the plant, that has been produced by the plants leaves through photosynthesis.  The plant in exchange gains a huge water and nutrient absorption system with the mycorrhizae.  The mycorrhizae also may help with absorption of phosphorus, a nutrient absolutely essential to the development of the energy containing molecule (ATP) in plants.In fact, mycorrhizae can expand the water collecting ability of the plant several hundred times.  For this reason, plants with mycorrhizae are more drought resistant.

 In extremely poor soils where few plants survive, mycorrhizae sometimes need to be added.  In most soils, however, there are already sufficient spores to establish relationships with the roots of your plant.  Bill Gates, in his philanthropic ventures to feed the world, recently endorsed mycorrhizae.

The Waterboxx was designed to be used with mycorrhizae.  Since the Waterboxx allows planting of trees and other plants in extremely dry soil, the mycorrhizae can further increase water absorption by the plant.  If planting in soil that currently doesn't support much plant life, you may want to consider purchasing high quality mycorrhizae.

Be the first in your area to begin growing plants with the Groasis Waterboxx.  The Waterboxx can be purchased in the United States from Dew Harvest. We would love to hear your comments below - to leave one, please click on "Comments".

Sources:

http://mycorrhizae.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycorrhiza

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/faculty/davies/research/mycorrhizae.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/nature/more-food-with-microbes/#b06g17f20b14

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