[nafex] mycorrhizal fungi?

Gianni GIANNI-2 at prodigy.net
Wed Dec 5 11:28:48 EST 2001


Is anyone aware of a means to propagate mycorrhizal fungi in a manner that
is usable for further plant innoculatons?

If you can grow it, do we need to buy it?  It is cost prohibitive to use
on a large scale otherwise.

As the fungi seems to work, it would make sense for people needing it, to
produce it themselves.

Also, does anyone know how quickly mycorrhizal fungi will grow and spread
in the wild?  I have read that, free "fairy rings" (a bad form of mycorrhizal
fungi) can grow 8" a year.  However, I have been unable to find how
quickly tethered mycorrhizal fungi (good kind) will spread.

My thought being that you could grow sod innoculated with mycorrhizal
fungi and then distribute the sod/fungi into the growing area.
Based on how fast the mycorrhizal fungi will spread throughout the rest of
the sod, and reach the crop (tree, bush, plant) would tell you how much
innoculated sod to introduce.

I only use sod as an example as it is realatively cheap to grow/buy and
can be easily innoculated.

Or could sprouts (like those sold in grocery stores) be used?  Buy
sprouts, innoculate them with mycorrhizal fungi and plant them out.
Keeping in mind that mycorrhizal fungi will only survive in symbiosis with
plant roots, and will be killed by manmade fertilizer.

Just tyring to discuss means to propagating mycorrhizal fungi on a larger
scale.

Thanks,
Tom

Hi Tom:

"Myco" for the sake of space (Mycorrhizae), was discovered accidentally because scientists wanted to know why
some crops/fruits did so well in uncultivated areas in the wild. They tried to grow within cultivation, species that
performed well in the wild and had no success. With the lack of success this prompted them to explore the soil and
hence "Myco" was discovered.
Gigaspora in processed & formulated myco is carefully balanced to hopefully benefit the crop/plant that your targeting for increased absorption and cation. The best formulated myco is one that contains as many spores as possible and with this larger smattering of spores a few may be compatible with your target crop/plant.
In the wild, most beneficial spores are found at the bottom of conifer forests and these spores seem to prefer
an acid soil. Old timers way back used to throw mold in the planting hole when setting out their stocks and this did seem to benefit the stocks but they never knew why.
I have been working with myco for only a couple of years and because the evidence of myco is almost molecular
and very hard to see, I cannot honestly give you the multiplication rate from pure sight but can tell you from performance there is no equal to that which has not been inoculated.
This is merely my opinion, sod may not be the best choice for growing myco because you are going to have to deal with the grass when you try to inoculate and as it breaks down it could thwart what you are trying to do and burn the spores. 
My advice would be very well aged compost or refuse that can never get hot again as heat will kill the beneficial spores. 
There is also a misnomer related to myco that needs to be corrected. Myco in and of itself, with regards to application rates is not, "the more the better." A tablespoon carefully shaken into the planting hole, making shure that the myco hits the rootball, taproot and underneath is all you ever need to touch off the inoculation process. The myco will take care of itself and your crop/plant will benefit because given the right environment will produce on it's own
and the symbiosis between rootball and myco will begin. The one drawback is that heavy nitrogen will kill myco or anything with the ability to get hot or burn, but. If applied at planting time into the bottom of the hole usually by the time any leaching occurs to reach the myco is usually not enough to burn it all out rendering it useless. 
I might try to inoculate some conifer bark mulch and never let it get hot and this could be a way of perpetuating more. If you ever notice. Bark mulch left to stand alone in time when disturbed, will exhibit tiny capillary like webs
and this is a form of gigaspora.

Best wishes,
~Gianni
Z-5/6





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