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Micorrhizal powder and how to use it

I live in Cyprus, where there is a water shortage. I recently moved to a village in the mountains, not too high, and now have a virgin garden, untended for years. It had a few damson trees and a plum tree, more like saplings because of undernourishment. I got rid of them and planted a lemon, apricot, mandarin and mulberry tree about 6 weeks to 2 months ago. I then ordered two roses from David Austin, of a type that tolerates poor soil. Incidentally, I also had 20 tons of a mixture  of sand, sheep manure and soil spread over the garden. The people who did this also planted the new trees, which I had to dig up and plant again as the holes they made were only just as big as the pots they came in. My question is: I now have 300g of micorhizzal powder. Could I dig the trees up again and give a dose of this to their roots? The weather is getting colder and so things are beginning to sleep ... I think it would be ok, particularly at this time of year. It gets really cold at the end of December, Jan and Feb and even March ... what do you think? It is the first time I have thought of using this in a country that suffers perennially from drought. Sorry this is so long.



  • Interesting problem. I wouldn't dig up the plants you already have in again. That could be too much of a shock for them. If you were in England I would say don't apply it now as it is too cold. But microrhyzal cultures need moisture to work and summer in Cyprus is baking hot and dry, so now could be your best time, as you should get 5 or 6 months of relatively rainy weather. What I would do is mix it with your compost and dig a shallow trench around the plants you have in, some distance from them so as not to damage any roots they already have, and let the rain do the rest for you. If that is too much trouble as you have too many, just pick the ones you think will most benefit. Anything you plant from now on (and winter is an excellent time to plant in a Mediterranean climate) you can mix it in of course, Don't worry about cold. We lived in a mountain village in Spain and though a few plants suffered some superficial damage from light frosts, nothing well-established suffered long-term. Good luck. Ian.

    Last edited: 16 November 2017 20:50:57

    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
  • I knew I'd have trouble with "mycorrhizal"" .....

    Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.
  • Yes ideally this needs to be in direct contact with the roots but the suggestion above could work. The other thing I am a great believer in, is Liquid seaweed especially the ones sold as as bio-stimulant, or if you have raw seaweed available use it in your mix. When you do water give a really good soak so you create a reserve of water under the plant.

    AB Still learning

  • Rub the fungi directly on the foundation ball if potential, or sprinkle within the planting hole. For seed, combine it dry with the seed before spreading. For sod, get a powder type of the fungi, combine with water, and spray it on the soil right before you lay the sod, or perhaps higher, right the lowest of the sod.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    I know I'm a huge cynic, but I have to say I'm not convinced . I'm not saying it doesn't work, but I'm not convinced, on the evidence I've seen to date that it does work.

    RHS research on it has a lot of " should " and " might " and not a lot of "will " and " does "

    I seem to remember folk raving about " water retaining granules" a while back .

  • We have been round this before. If your soil is good & rich with a healthy mircrobiome if you have access to leafmould etc you do not need it. BUT in more  difficult or challenging circumstances it gives plants a real boost. My evidence comes from my own use of it. Transplants or replants of mature plants much more sucessful. Fruit trees, bush & cane fruit ALL much more productive than those grown without it especially in dry years when I am unable to water sufficiently.

    AB Still learning

  • I'm extremely sceptical of commercial 'mycorrhiza' products. They're heavily promoted, including by the RHS as Hostafan1 says, but I haven't seen any proper trials of these products. The manufacturers don't say what fungi are supposed to be in the packets, they don't give any evidence that use of their product increases root colonisation, and they don't give any evidence of growth improvements or other benefits.

    The fungi involved are very common in soil, and established plants or transplants that have been growing in the ground will almost certainly be colonised already.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    I'm looking for "peer assessed , double blind trials" but have been unable to find any.

    Even the RHS says that good fertilizer might well give the same results.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    the billions of MF already in the soil do the same job free of charge and with no effort whatsoever. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,011
    edited January 2022
    @garrythegardener ... I think you are confused ... the photograph you've posted shows what looks like good old Growmore-type general garden fertiliser being scattered around the plant on the surface of the soil ... micorrhyzal powder should be applied to the rootball before planting ... just as you have described.  Can you not find a photograph showing this?  What you're showing is very misleading. 

    If you look here we can show you how to do it


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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