Shopping for Mycorrhizzae

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by jakrustle, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. as always, passing on some info that I thought might help some of you.


    Shopping for Mycorrhizal Fungi

    There are a lot of mycorrhizal products on the market today. Growers are often wary of new products that suddenly appear on the market as copy-cats of more well known products. Here are some features and specifications to look for when buying mycorrhizae products.
    First, look for stable formulations. Over the years the packaging and use of beneficial micro-organisms has become easier to use and more convenient. Many products now come as powders or liquids. One mycorrhizal product comes in a biodegradable “teabag” of powder and is often referred to as a teabag in the U.S., or a sachet in Europe. This powder contains spores and other fungal structures that need moisture to come out of dormancy. Dry formulations of mycorrhizae have a typical shelf life of 16-18 months although two years is not uncommon. Do not buy products that require refrigeration or special handling. Refrigerated products may have been allowed to get warm and be reduced in effectiveness long before you receive them. Stable products come in liquid, granular or teabag formulations.
    Second, look for combinations of mycorrhizae species in one product. A mixture will often give protection against more pathogens than a single mycorrhizal species. Also, several species of mycorrhizae may be combined to give longer season control because where one species starts to lose effectiveness the other may extend the protection. Moreover, products with a mixture of ectomycorrhizae and endomycorrhizae are applicable to a wider range of crops than a product with only one or the other. Keep in mind that beets, broccoli and canola do not respond to mycorrhizae.
    Third, look for a guaranteed analysis on the label. These numbers will give you the number of spores or colony forming units (CFUs) in the product. The higher the number then the more fungal “seeds” you have to inoculate your plant roots.
    Fourth, shelf life is important. It does you no good to have a large amount of spores at the time of manufacture only to have nothing but water to apply when you are ready to use the product. A long shelf life ensures the product is live and active when you need it.
    Fifth, do your homework and see how long the product has been on the market. Reputable companies have been selling the product for many years and have a track record. Companies selling poor performing product will not be in the market for very long.
    Sixth, look for products that operate over a wide range of temperatures. Mycorrhizal fungi, like any living organism, slow down or die in extreme temperatures. The temperature range in which the product is effective gives you an indication of how hardy the mycorrhizal strains are. Often manufacturers will mix mycorrhizae that have different points of inactivation due to high or low temperatures, again to extend protection time.
    Lastly, make sure the mycorrhizal product is organically certified. This ensures that the product does not contain any harmful human pathogens, genetically modified organisms or synthetically produced ingredients.
    Incorporating mycorrhizae into your indoor garden or growing operation is easy, safe and environmentally friendly. Look for mycorrhizal fungi products in your gardening catalog, local nursery or garden center. By using mycorrhizae you will be promoting a more balanced population of soil micro-organism and reduce your use of harsh, toxic chemicals. And you will save yourself costly and worrisome disposal problems associated with chemical alternatives. Now that you've learned a little about mycorrhizae perhaps you will feel more confident in buying and using mycorrhizal fungi in your indoor garden or protected cropping system.

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