Mycorrhiza in substrates for increased yield. It is very well known that the growers have to vie with one another in a very competitive world, where costs and risks are high and time always counts. In order to be better than the rivals, the growers must have high quality plants, of required size and shape in shortest time possible. Substrate is a very important part in growing healthy and beautiful plants and to help the grower to meet the set standards and needs we have enhanced our substrates. To achieve the required outer beauty, the plants have to have also an inner beauty or strength and vitality and mycorrhiza is big help in achieving that inner beauty. Mycorrhiza is literally fungus-root, it is a symbiosis of roots and fungi, as a result of it root area increases many-fold, causing massive increase in plant’s water and nutrient supply. These fungi provide the plant with an enhanced access to the nutrients and to the water available in the soil, extracting them through their extended mycelium, so plant’s procurement system increases up to 100 times. One kilometer of hyphae may be associated with a plant growing in a one-liter pot and it can access water and nutrients in the smallest pores in the soil.
Mycorrhiza helps the plant to endure all sorts of stress – it relieves pressure from draught, miscalculated irrigation and fertilisation, also helps the plant to cope with stress from repotting or from transport to a different nursery or sales point and enforces the plant’s ability to fight phytopathogenous microorganisms. The development of the fungus takes some time, so it is recommended for plants that spend over 8 weeks in cultivation.
Mikskaar is an Estonian substrate producer that makes substrates with mycorrhiza. This company is a family-owned and -run enterprise. Mycorrhiza is most efficient if it „meets“ the plant and its roots at the earliest stage possible, it then travels with the plant through its’ whole lifecycle. For that particular reason the main products with mycorrhiza are substrates for young plants. Depending on the tray size and growing method, there is a choice between two main products: the very fine black peat substrate MYPS1 and another very fine white peat substrate MYKS1. MYPS1 is a peat based substrate, fertilized, with adjusted pH and wetting agent, and of course, includes inoculums of mycorrhiza. In MYPS1 we have used both types of peat: the more decomposed black peat for tenaciousness and stability of water regime, and white peat for higher share of organic matter, better porosity for air and water, bigger water capacity. Combination of positive features of both kinds of peat has proven successful in trials over many years in many different countries, especially for different kinds of vegetables: pepper, tomato, melon. MYKS1 is also fertilized and neutralized peat substrate with mycorrhiza, but here we have used only the less decomposed white peat as the main component. Here the grower may enjoy the best features of very little decomposed peat at full force: very high buffering ability, water capacity and organic matter content, just to name a few. MYKS1 is the recommended substrate for seedlings and young plants of ornamentals in trays. It is of course possible to make potting substrates with mycorrhiza as well, there is plenty of time for the mycelium to develop in case of long term cultivation in pots. during the use of these substrates it is important to keep in mind that the substrate includes low-Phosphorus starter fertiliser and also the further fertilisation on site has to be carried out with fertilisers that have low Phosphorus content.