Mycorrhizal fungi are beneficial microscopic soil organisms that have evolved in a symbiotic relationship with approximately 95% of the world’s plant species over the past several hundred million years. The relationship between plants and mycorrhizal fungi is a two-way relationship of sharing resources between species: a classic symbiotic mutualism. The endomycorrhizal fungi rely on the plant to survive, and the plant’s performance and survival are enhanced by these beneficial fungi. Mycorrhizae act as a living extension of the plant’s roots and benefit a plant’s root system development, nutrient and water uptake and efficiency, stress tolerance, and transplant success. For a home gardener, mycorrhizal fungi can shorten crop times, improve plant uniformity, reduce nutrient runoff, allow for longer watering intervals, improve soil quality and health, and ultimately lead to happier plants.
With a per-plant investment of as little as $0.0002 - $0.0008 when treated early in the plant’s life cycle, inoculating horticulture crops with mycorrhizal products provides an excellent and inexpensive insurance policy. Once the plant is inoculated and the root system is colonized by the mycorrhizal fungi, this symbiotic relationship lasts the lifetime of the plant as the mycorrhizal hyphae continue to grow along with the roots. With recent advancements in formulations and carrier technologies, it is now easier than ever for gardeners to incorporate mycorrhizae into their growing protocols, and benefit from this fundamental symbiosis.