maandag 18 oktober 2021

Mycorrhizae life in (mostly) inorganic substrate

Yes, it is possible, I notice it each year in several (not all) pots with highly inorganic substrate (in my case, with substantial amount of zeolite): Fungi, or in other words the fruiting bodies of (ecto)mycorrhizae.

I only use a smaller part organics (coco) in my otherwise highly inorganic substrate (zeolite/lava/pumice), make sure I have (and keep) a healthy microbial balance by fertilising only with organic fertilizers. Spores from fungi will settle automatically by spreading through the wind (unbelievably tiny spores), if not brought in actively by repotting whilst recuperating a small amount of the old soil around the roots. Also make sure to use substrates that, by their structure and inherent characteristics, can be colonised with bacteria and fungi, so do not include things like plain gravel.

I've even had fungi in 100% zeolite substrate, with Birch (that has several mycorrhizae they form symbioses with).

These are recent pictures from my European hornbeam (carpinus betulus).

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