Making a fungi inoculant probably isn’t on the top of most gardener’s “to-do” lists – and it may smack of voodoo for some – but indulge me for a moment.
I’ve read about the microbiology of soil and heard plenty about how long it takes for some trees to establish without having the right microorganisms in the soil. Fungi have complex relationships with a variety of plants and allow them to reach further through the soil and reach nutrients that would normally be inaccessible to the plant alone.
I planted a few of Terri’s native pawpaw trees last year – and I bought three more from her to plant this year.
When I was out with my wife today at a doctor’s appointment (scientists are still baffled by my remarkable transhuman DNA patterning), there was a weedy lot next to the parking area.
There in front of us, I spotted a few small pawpaw trees. They didn’t look all that happy, but I went further into the lot and found a larger group of very healthy specimens.
The thought hit me: I should grab some dirt from around the happy trees and take it home as a fungi inoculate for my pawpaws.
So I did.
When I got home that evening, it was rapidly getting dark but I went ahead and “treated” my trees in the fading light.
Here’s how I inoculated my pawpaws:
Step 1: I took dirt from around healthy trees
Step 2: I mixed some in a bucket of rainwater (not chlorinated water)
Step 3: I pulled back the mulch around my trees and poured on my fungi inoculant
Grow, little mycellium… grow!
There’s really no way to tell if this fungi inoculant works, at least not without a proper control group, but I think it’s a good practice.
I believe in the power of mycorrhizal fungi… do you?