Soil amendments are not a new concept. It has been known and practiced for years that the success of a plant is not just dependent on its own health but also the quality of the soil where it resides. But with all this knowledge, one aspect of soil conditioning has just been gaining traction over the past few years. Are you taking advantage of it?
Traditional Soil Amendments
Like the name suggests, soil amendments or soil conditioners aim to bring to the soil the attributes it may be lacking. The goal is to assist plant health and growth. Soil amendments can affect moisture retention, porosity, pH, and much more.
Therefore, among the many kinds you can use, your choice will depend on soil composition, climate, and the plant itself. They include:
- Fertilizers — Fertilizers give plants nutrients and can come in many forms including soluble salts, manure, peat or compost.
- Lime and Gypsum — Lime raises your soil’s pH level, making it less acidic. Gypsum is a soft mineral which improves aeration of compacted soil and helps the soil drain more efficiently.
- Compost — Compost is a source for soil microbes like bacteria and certain fungi. It is also very high in organic matter.
- Sphagnum Peat Moss — This material absorbs water and slowly releases it for use by plant roots. It also provides aeration, lightens clay soil, and adds mass to sandy soil which helps prevent the loss of important nutrients.
Is There Really Something New in Soil Amendments?
Mycorrhizal fungi represent a revolutionary soil amendment, currently very much underused. While it may be new to you, it is not new to nature! Beneficial fungi and other plants have been coexisting harmoniously for eons. It is only in the past few years that we’ve been able to study it and apply it systematically to improve soil and plant performance!
Mycorrhizal fungi colonize the plant’s root system and develop a symbiotic relationship with the plant. The fungi’s filaments help draw nutrients and water from the soil that the root system would not be able to access otherwise. The fungi also excrete enzymes that break down soil particles and organic matter into forms the plant can readily use. In return, the fungi receive sugars and nutrients of their own from the plant above.
By improving nutrient availability and water absorption, this enhanced root system improves your plants’ survival, flowering, yields and production. In short, Mycorrhizae dramatically increase the effectiveness of traditional soil amendments you’ve known for so long.
Continue to apply the appropriate soil amendments to strengthen your plants and improve their performance. Just make sure your plant gets the maximum benefit from them by adding one more, designed by nature itself — Mycorrhizal fungi!
Explore the different variations of our DieHard(TM) Mycorrhizae-enhanced product line to find the one that is right for you and your applications. You can purchase right from this site, or be connected to a soil amendment expert for further guidance using the contact form below.
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