The Superhero of Your Garden!
Did you know that fungi are good for your garden?
I had mentioned about adding our own beneficial fungi to the soil. You
can do this either right after mulching or just before; I normally do
it before but if it happens later, no big deal. More and more, beneficial
organisms like mycorrhizal fungi are becoming available
to the home gardener. Discovered in the late 1800’s and pretty well
documented by the 1930’s, these symbiotic fungi were lost in the
rush to “modernize” the garden (i.e., dump chemicals all over
it). Fungus was a bad guy that we could kill off with the latest wonder
product, not something to be promoted, and the research went dead for
years. But with the renewal of organic practice to the garden scene, mycorhizii
have again started to gather attention.
Simply put, mycorhizii are different species of fungi that help a plant
with different tasks; some help with water uptake, some with making fertilizer
available, some with gas exchange, etc. They require organic content in
the soil, but in exchange help your perennials to grow and flourish (Keep
in mind that some strains are better for flowers, some for shrubs, some
for evergreens, so make sure you get the right strains).
The other benefit to introducing beneficial fungi to the soil is that
it leaves no room for the bad guys like phytophtera or botrytis (this
is known as “biological counterculture” in scientific circles).
A fancy way to say, "no room at the inn," but any way you say
it, mycorhizal supplementation is the way to really modernize your garden
and take care of the environment as well. You must feed and care for mycorhizii,
but they like the same things your plants do, so if you water and fertilize
regularly, your soil flora will stay as healthy as your garden flora.