Are products with "beneficial soil microbes" and "Mycorrhizae" real?

June 10, 2018

Are packaged products with "beneficial soil microbes" and "Mycorrhizae" actually adding anything of real value? Or are these just marketing gimmicks?

Comments (6)

  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.

    Well, they clearly could be beneficial. Are they, really? Who knows?

    The best example of established benefit is the use of nitrogen fixation rhizobia in the agricultural production of legumes.

    My gut feeling is mostly marketing with a bit of benefit tossed in occasionally.

    noki33 thanked albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.
  • kimmq

    Where are those products harvested? How are they packaged, stored, and shipped? The fungi that form the symbiotic relationship, know as mycorrhiza, do not survive well if temperatures and moisture levels are not maintained quite closely to what they live in.

    Rather than spend money on these products make the soil into something that would encourage them to exist and they will without the need to have something shipped to you.

    Even if you purchase some of this stuff if you do not provide a good habitat for them they will not survive.

  • henry_kuska

    This is a summary of one of the ways they work with plants:

  • noki33

    I don't doubt the idea, just I dunno if beneficial soil microbes and Mycorrhizae survive in a dry bagged medium well enough to "seed" your garden with these benefits.

  • henry_kuska

    One of our local garden centers had 40 pound bags of soil plus mycorrhizae sitting outside in the sun. I informed the owner of the possible problem.

    I recommend purchasing mail order from a company that comes across as knowledgeable about their products,

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    It is absolutely real; packaged mycorrhizae have been used successfully for many years. Mycorrhizae aren't a thing but the relationship between the roots of certain plants and a long list of fungi that infest the roots in a mutually beneficial manner. The package contains dry mushroom spores in an inert medium to facilitate proper application.

    When stored properly, fungal spores have a long shelf life.

    I do believe however, that consumers who have no understanding of the concept might be tempted to make purchases of these products without a need or a goal.

    That being said, mycorrhizae have been introduced for many, many years to wasteland soils, such as mine spoils, in order to speed up restoration; as a means of agriculture improvement by reducing water and fertilizer needs; reforestation projects have been made possible in ruined or barren soils. Mychorrizae can reduce transplant stress and construction damage to old, established trees, and can even improve the chances for containerized plants.

    noki33 thanked rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

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