Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Unhappy With My Mycorrhiza

So I am going through one of my favorite nurseries and I spot something I have wanted to try for a couple of years at a price that, while not comfortable, is in my range, so I purchase it.

I have wanted to try Mycorrhiza for quit some time. Its a fungus that occurs in undisturbed soils that has a synergistic relationship with plants. I have seen it used on some garden shows to revive difficult or over worked soil. Another property it is supposed to add to the soil is greater moisture capture.

So, there it is on the shelf. I look it over for a second and it also has some material to support the fungus, it has some 3-3-3 fertilizer combined in and touts its moisture retention ability. The fertilizer is not organic, which I would normally avoid, but my excitement at having the mycorrhiza overwhelms me and I decide to go for it. I look on top and it has an expiration date, which encourages me that there is in fact, something living inside. I read almost every detail on the container. But I missed one key sentence in the fine print.

I get home and sprinkle some on my main beds. I mix it in. I am excited to think about this fungus starting to grow in my beds. Then I don't go out for a few days because of rain.

Then one of my daughters asked why one of my beds looked white. This is what I find:

That one portion of sentence I somehow missed?...", and water-storing polymer crystals that help reduce plant waterings."

I was, and am, so mad about this I cannot even accurately express this. Of course, really, I am mad at myself for missing that one little piece of information in a bit of fine print.


  1. Doh! Don't you hate that when you miss that one key fact? I wouldn't stress too hard on it though. I did a quick search of polymer water beads and many are said to be non-toxic and non polluting.
    I would call the manufacturer and try to get the specs on what exactly the polymer is. Other wise, if you just want to be safe, you could always dig out that bed, use the soil in pottings for decorative plants only and replace the soil. (benefit of raised beds.)
    Good luck.

  2. What a bummer! If I could get back all the money I've spent over the years on junk garden products... Oh the garden I could have now.

    Also, I started reading a new book about microorganisms and our gardens and it essentially says that all we need for healthy microrhizzae is to have a really good compost setup in place.