Plants propagated and raised in most commercial nursery environments receive intensive care and feeding. The enhanced light and temperature regimes, regular watering, high nutrient feeding, and sterile growing mediums maximize production. Unfortunately, the high levels of water and nutrients and the lack of mycorrhizal fungi discourages plants from producing the extensive root systems they may need for successful transplanting. When finally weaned from the intensive care systems of the greenhouse or nursery, plants are often poorly adapted to the final outplanted environment.
The application of mycorrhizal inoculants during the nursery growth cycle or at transplanting sets plants on track to better survive a more rigorous outplanting environment. Scientific research has documented the need for most plants to generate a mycorrhizal root system in order to become well established. Reintroducing mycorrhizal fungi with the plant can dramatically improve plant establishment, growth and long term health. A range of benefits to the plants health include increased water uptake, increased nutrient accumulation and efficiency, and increased transplant survival.
Many growers are now finding they can significantly reduce the ever-rising costs of water and fertilizers by greatly enhancing the plants ability to utilize these components through inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi. The economics of mycorrhizal inoculation are becoming more and more attractive as the cost of the inoculants has declined due to improved technology, greater usage and increased production, along with the pressure of ever-increasing prices of traditional inputs. Today, treatment can be easily applied in several ways to best suit your particular crop and operation. We offer products that can be mixed with plug or transplant mixes, watered-in, drenched into plug trays, incorporated into growing or transplant media, top-dressed into existing plants in the field or in containers, etc. When one considers all the benefits vs. the low cost and ease of application, mycorrhizal inoculation is clearly a cost effective option for most greenhouse and nursery operations. (It costs as little as about $0.08 to treat an entire propagation tray, and the benefits of mycorrhizae are experienced throughout the production process – from propagation, to transplanting, to sale, to planting.)