With Autumn in full effect, it’s prime time for propagation throughout the US. And, unless this is the first article you’re reading on the topic of mycorrhizae, you already know that propagation is the prime time for mycorrhizal inoculation for many reasons:
Reason #1: A Lifetime of Benefits
Once your plug, seedling, or cutting is colonized by MycoApply, the mycorrhizal network will survive and grow with the plant’s root system for its lifetime. This means that early application will result in early benefits, and these benefits will stick with the plant throughout its life, transplant after transplant. Not only will the grower see the benefits in the vitality and uniformity of their crop (and often shorter crop times), but the customers down the line will benefit from this early investment in sustainability.
Reason #2: Very Low Cost per Plant
Treating a smaller plant requires less mycorrhizal inoculant product, meaning the cost per plant can be extremely low. Since the soil volume per plant is so small in a plug or propagation tray, you can achieve root system colonization with just a small handful of propagules per plant. The cost to treat an entire plug/liner tray is only $0.05-0.06. This means that if you’re treating a 72-cell tray, the cost per plant/plug is only $0.0008, or if you’re treating a 392-cell tray, the cost per plant/plug is only $0.0002. With a cost per plant this low, the ROI that a grower can accomplish is huge.
Reason #3: Earlier Inoculation = Earlier Benefits
Depending on the plant species, it can take 6-8 weeks before a grower will see visible benefits of mycorrhizal application to their crop. The earlier that this clock is started, the more benefit the grower will achieve from their mycorrhizal investment.
Reason #4: Ease of Application
Inoculation during propagation is also often much easier at this early stage in the plant’s life cycle. Generally, drench applications are preferred for larger growing operations, and at propagation there is a lot less foliage and plant material to get in the way of an overhead spray or drench, making it easier for the active ingredients to reach the root zone. Our newest product, MycoApply Injector Endo, is particularly well suited for this application method, as it is highly concentrated, and designed for use through horticulture injection dosing equipment. Therefore, a large-scale propagator can easily apply MycoApply via overhead boom spray, and this spray can readily get past the foliage and into the growing media at this early stage in the process. If a grower is incorporating/blending a granular or powder MycoApply inoculant into their propagation growing media, there is less media needed per plant at this early stage, so the amount of media that will need to be custom blended will be minimal.
Reason #5: The Results Speak for Themselves
Article by: Graham Hetland
Mycorrhizal Applications – Product & Communications Manager
November 13, 2019