[NAFEX] Re: Mycorrhizal fungi

baylands baylands at cros.net
Mon Mar 8 12:17:13 EST 2004

Hi there!

I would guess from my experience that if the "dead" straw, while decaying,
is in contact with living soil and a plant is growing in or near this
decaying straw mulch, the plants root system will develop a symbiotic
relationship with the living soil organisms that have been encouraged by the
fungal mat. The straw mulch creates an ideal fungal mat for the living
organisms within the soil. 

My soil without straw mulch does not create much of a fugal mat, if any. It
seems to me that the straw mulch creates the ideal growing condition for
mycorrhizal fungi already present in nature. Nature over a period of time
will provide the strain of myco fungi most beneficial in establishing a
symbiotic relationship with the plants that you are growing. I have observed
that nature will provide worms in a previously wormless soil if organic
matter is incorporated into that soil. The worms do not have to be purchased
and added. Cultural practices are the basis of long-term natural and
sustainable fertility.

Ro Chapman/Baylands Farm
Port Clinton, OH 43452-0449

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Tom Olenio
Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 8:53 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Re: Mycorrhizal fungi

Djubaya wrote:

> Dear All,
> I have found a simple trick to adding mycorrhizal fungi to the planting
> area... Get a straw bale (or 100*) in the summer and let it sit through
> the wet season. Then mulch with it around the tree or planting bed in
> the spring. It is the molding straw which will add the fungal mat to the
> soil...


Everything I have read indicates that the beneficial myco fungi we are
discussing is soil borne, and must be in
contact with living roots to survive.  It is a symbiotic relationship
between living organisms, not decaying
dead matter.

As straw bales contain little/no roots or soil, the presence of beneficial
myco fungi is limited.  You also will
have no idea what strains of myco fungi you introduce.  Some are better than

The moldering hay will add organic matter to the soil, but is unrelated to
beneficial myco fungi.


Thomas Olenio
Ontario, Canada
Hardiness Zone 5b

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