Wednesday, February 21, 2018

About VAM

One of our first microbiological products is Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (VAM). VAM is a fungus that penetrates the roots of a vascular plant in order to help them to capture nutrients from the soil. These fungi are scientifically well known for their ability to uptake and transport mineral nutrients from the soil directly into host plant roots. Approximately 80% of known plant species, including most economically important crops, have a known symbiosis with them.

This mutually beneficial partnership between plants and soil fungi has existed as long as there have been plants growing in soil. Unfortunately, these beneficial mycorrhizal fungi are destroyed in the development of human-made landscapes, causing vegetation in these environments to struggle. When reintroduced to the soil (see diagram), the mycorrhiza colonizes the root system, forming a vast network of filaments. This fungal system retains moisture while producing powerful enzymes that naturally unlock mineral nutrients in the soil for natural root absorption.


 (Click to enlarge)

Thanks to their incredible ability to connect to plant roots, the microscopic fungal fibres vastly extend the root system. They extract water and nutrients from a large volume of surrounding soil, and bring them to the plant, improving nutrition and growth. A plant’s root system, however big, can never be as extensive as the network of fungal fibres. The microscopic filaments grow through the soil and reach much more nutrients than the roots would. When you treat your plants with mycorrhiza, you can be sure that they will use the whole potential of the soil.

By supplying the plant with much more extra water and nutrients, mycorrhizal fungi contribute to superior growth, resistance and health. Just like people should have a good supply of water and a healthy lifestyle based on natural, organic products, so our plants grow much better when they live with a life-long partner and without chemical fertilizers. When we provide them with a solid base and the best possible support, they are much more likely to survive periods of bad conditions.

If you wanted to simply take the mycelium and put it under your plant, it wouldn’t work very well. First, we need to multiply the reproductive particles of the fungi, to make sure that they start growing new offshoots when they get to the roots of your plant. Then, we make a concentrated extract with ingredients that support the establishment of mycorrhiza, so that the customer gets maximum benefit from our products.

Where is it found?

When you see a mushroom or a toadstool, you usually only see what is above the ground. But the majority of the organism is found underground, in the form of fine fungal fibres that stretch for metres through the soil, and the above-ground mushrooms are just a small part of the whole structure. The network of underground fibres connects to plant roots and acts as an enormous additional root system.

Is there only one kind of mycorrhizal fungi?

There are several types and each works in a slightly different way. This is why in our laboratories, we first seperate and multiply the individual species, and then mix them together to suit the specific needs and demands of different customers. Different plants need different species of mycorrhizal fungi, and the specific formulation can only be reached by involving expert biologists and mycologists in the production.

Is mycorrhiza a fertilizer?

No, fertilizers are important, because they release nutrients into the soil. But only combining natural, slow-release fertilizers with mycorhizal fungi can get you the strong, resistant and healthy plants you strive for.

 AMF ColonisationAMF Colonisation 2Myc Spores Montage

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 What can we expect from mycorrhizal treatment?

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Better and more balanced growth

Healthier and more dense root system with a largely improved ability to get nutrients from soil

Richer and denser flowers and fruit

Significantly lower need of watering and fertilizing

Higher resistance to drought

Decreased stress during transplanting

Stabilization of surface

Protection against some soil pathogenes and diseases


Why is all this so important?

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It is a natural mutually beneficial partnership between plants and some soil fungi.

It actively fights various soil diseases and parasites.

It is capable of storing water, which further reinforces the root system.

Makes the soil resistant to erosion, strengthens the plants overall health and provides long-term, natural support for your plant.

But one of the most important abilities of mycorrhizal fungi is that they stay attached to the roots and support the plant for its entire life.