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Mycorrhizal Mix

 
pollinator
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I would like your thoughts on this idea, please.

A seed mix that is designed to plant a field in beneficial plants that are known mycorrhizal support species to help inoculate ground.  I have come across a seed company that specializes in no till cover crops.  They have a blend that they market as 'Mycorrhizal Mix'.  I am debating planting my disturbed soil that has little life in it with this cover crop, inoculating with fungal tea, and letting it be grazed for renewed growth.

My question is has anyone had experience with fungal growth rates with native prairie grass vs a targeted mix?  

Green Cover Seeds

To clarify:  Would a targeted mix better develop the fungal net than any other symbiotic plant mix after inoculated by fungal tea?
 
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Jack,

That’s a great question unfortunately without a solid answer.  I am all about the the importance of soil fungi, but I am not quite so sanguine about the mycorrhizal fungi additives.

It makes sense that you could find a nice source of the appropriate fungi, take a little sample and transplant it into deficient areas.  But what I have been told (and I would love to be proven wrong about this) is that the specific species that are most desirable simply don’t grow well in a lab for easy harvest and distribution.

I am not saying that those little packets are bad, only that they may not give all the desired results.

But there is good news.  These species still exist, often in ditches and shelter belts.  I also understand that their spores still exist in soils just waiting for proper conditions to arrive.  The proper conditions being lack of herbicide, pesticides, fungicide, etc. in addition to not using chemical fertilizers.

Basically, a lot of areas have a “build it and they will come” situation.

So I say use those packets and hopefully the remnants of the appropriate fungi will re-emerge.

Good Luck,

Eric  
 
Jack Edmondson
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Eric,

I agree that the fungi packets are not the only or even best way to inoculate.  However, my question is the value of growing a crop specifically formulated to build a root net for fungi to colonize over say native prairie grass, or legumes.  Their mix is 12 or 13 varieties of plants that are known hosts to support the fungi.

Most crop plants and pasture species are symbiotic, but are all root nets created equally.  Intuition tells me some hosts do more than others; but I don't know that for a fact.  I will inoculate whatever I plant in the pasture to kick start my colony.  I am just wondering if it is worth planting target species to encourage growth of a fungal net.
 
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I think that you might be interested in this article Jack, https://rodaleinstitute.org/science/articles/how-to-innoculate-arbuscular-mycorrhizal-fungi-on-the-farm-part-1/

In it the mention some plants that don't form mychorrizal associations, like mustards and sugar beets, and recommend using Bahia grass as a host. Their reasons for.this.choice are not your criteria though.

I think that there is likely to be value in a blend like the one sold commercially. Especially for use in a farm field that is actively cropped with annuals. I think that it is sensible.that native prairie plants would also form relationships with the native soil fungi. I think that for what it sounds like are your purposes you might be able to find a cheaper route to your goal. That doesn't mean that using this particular seed blend won't get you to your goal faster
 
Eric Hanson
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Jack,

Ahhh, I misunderstood your question.  You were talking about the plant end.  In that case, I say definitely do it if you can.  Personally I would go as broad a range as you possibly can get.  I strongly believe that the greater the diversity the better.  

S,

Thanks for the link and the check on my understanding

Eric
 
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s. lowe wrote:I think that you might be interested in this article Jack, https://rodaleinstitute.org/science/articles/how-to-innoculate-arbuscular-mycorrhizal-fungi-on-the-farm-part-1/



Wow!  Thanks for this article!  So much to learn, but discovering great resources is a big help.
 
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