April 2013 Newsletter (vol.17) >> What is Myke?
MYKE is a complete product line of all-natural growth supplements which contain biological fungi called mycorrhizae. It should not be confused with fertilizer because it is a supplement. I can be used in addition to low-phosphorus fertilizers. MYKE is ready to use and safe for the environment, gardeners, and pets. It is OMRI certified and should be applied directly in contact with the plant’s roots by using at the time of sowing, repotting, planting, or tending your plants.
MYKE contains mycorrhizal fungi which have existed since the first plants appeared on dry land more than 450 million years ago. Unfortantely, mycorrhizae content has considerably diminished in soil that has been disturbed by human activity. There is not enough to produce a significant benefit for plant growth and health, hence the importance to compensate for this lack by using MYKE.
Mycorrhizae form a close symbiotic relationship with plant roots. The word mycorrhiza comes from the Greek “mukés”, meaning fungus, and “rhiza,” meaning roots. There are two main types of mycorrhizae, Endomycorrhizae which associates with 80% of plants; mostly deciduous trees and herbaceous plants and then Ectomycorrhizae which associates with approximately 5 to 7% of plants; mostly evergreen trees. MYKE has different formulations that contain at least one or both types of mycorrhizae.
Mycorrhizal fungi colonize the plant’s root system to form a network of filaments. This increases the plant’s root surface area, allowing it to absorb more water and nutrients that the root system would not be able to access otherwise. In turn, this process enhances growth and favors rapid development of roots and vegetative growth. This fungi-plant relationship has several benefits, such as:
- Ensuring faster establishment: Roots with mycorrhizae spread within the available space twice as fast as roots that do no benefit from the technology.
- Reducing watering needs by 30%: The plant’s root system is more developed and thus absorbs more water.
- Increasing survival by 75%: Roots with mycorrhizae have a greater capacity to absorb nutrients from the soil; therefore, you get plants that are healthier, more vigorous and more resistant to stress.
- Increasing phosphorus absorption: Roots with mycorrhizae can absorb 3 to 5 x more phosphorus than roots without mycorrhizae.
- Improving soil structure and preventing erosion: The root extension (filaments) provided by mycorrhizae holds soil particles together, which reduces erosion. Furthermore, by improving soil structure, mycorrhizae allow about 25% better water penetration, thus slowing down erosion and stabilizing the soil.
- Natural coarse granular carrier (vermiculite, perlite, and peat) as effective with deciduous trees and evergreens.
- Contains: endomycorrhizae and ectomycorrhizae.
- Apply to: evergreen/deciduous trees, shrubs, and hedges. For established trees, apply the product along the drip zone, 4 cm (2 in) deep, in line with the crown.
- Exceptions: The ericaceous family (blueberries, heathers, kalmias, camelias, rhododendrons, sorrel trees and azaleas) which cannot be colonized by the fungi contained in MYKE.
- Natural coarse granular carrier (perlite and peat) that provides additional soil porosity.
- Contains: endomycorrhizae.
- Apply to: annuals and perennials in pots, boxes or directly into the soil.
- Exceptions: Lupines, carnations, kochias and alyssums cannot be colonized by the fungus contained in MYKE.
MYKE Vegetable Garden, MYKE Turf, and MYKE Potting Soil are also available as special order items.