Creating Your Own Mycorrhiza

| 3/28/2014 8:59:00 AM

Tags: mycorrhiza, soil fertility, compost, soil science, fungus, Aaron Miller, Washington,

In sitting down to write this article, I wanted to go deep into the soil food web. I wanted to start from the ground up on how the different bacterium and mycorrhiza work together with plants and trees and help make them a better, stronger version of themselves. I wanted to inspire you the way I have been inspired. Then I came to the realization that I would just be repeating information that was already out there. I would just be siting sources of this wonderful knowledge and rewriting it in my own voice. That’s boring, for me and for you.

What I want to do is show you how to use this knowledge the way I have this past year. I want to show you how to make mycorrhizal fungi on your own. You could go out and buy it (as I did for experimentation) and do it that way, but like I have asked in past articles “what if there was no home depot?”

fungi 2

Mycorrhiza: The Basics

Mycorrhiza can be broken down to its root words and translated literally to “root fungus”. Whether fungus makes you think of yellow toenails or mushrooms on a pizza, most don’t realize the impact they do and can have on all life on Earth. They are an amazing life-form that we are just scratching the surface of their potential. One use that commercial growers and nurseries have known for a while but is now starting to trickle to the average gardener is the symbiotic relationship mycorrhizal fungi has with plants.

All life has co-evolved with bacteria and fungi over millions of years. All life depends on life. Life not only needs to eat life to live but they also need to work together to be successful. Even humans have co-evolved with other life to get to where we are today. Mitochondria, a component in our cells that creates energy for the cell to produce proteins and molecules for cell function and reproduction has some of its own genetic code intact. This is theorized as occurring because at one point in time it was its own organism. It starting working with other cells and over time they became dependent on each other. In the bigger picture, roughly 90% of the cells in our body belong to other organisms. Only 10% of the cells that make up us are actually us. We wouldn’t be able to live without the other micro-organisms we evolved with. And plants are the same way.

9/24/2017 8:48:33 PM

Mycorrhiza are not free living meaning you can't grow them in compost, they have to grow on a host plant. You can read more at

9/24/2017 8:48:31 PM

Mycorrhiza are not free living meaning you can't grow them in compost, they have to grow on a host plant. You can read more at

7/2/2017 7:46:29 PM

Is it possible to harvest mushroom/toadstools.........crumble them up in my hands.......spread around the garden.......water-in & maybe get more mycorrhizae growing & spreading in barren areas??? Just thinking.

12/10/2015 10:42:08 PM

I just watched a soil documentary on youtube... There are microbes in soil, 80% of which have never been identified..., uncharted territory - fascinating! Thanks for this article. I have always thought that more roto-tilling was always better for plants/getting more air into the soil and chopping/killing weeds. I am starting to think otherwise now, knowing what is going on in soil, and how plants can benefit with less work from us. We need to work the soil less, but smarter, providing a better environment for the microscopic, tremendously numerous critters who inhabit the soil feeding and protecting our plants.

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