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- Hardcover $24.95 $30.95 CAD
- ebook $11.99 $15.99 CAD
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Teaming with Fungi is an important guide to mycorrhizae and the role they play in agriculture, horticulture, and hydroponics. Almost every plant in a garden forms a relationship with fungi, and many plants would not exist without their fungal partners. By better understanding this relationship, home gardeners can take advantage of the benefits of fungi, which include an increased uptake in nutrients, resistance to drought, earlier fruiting, and more. This must-have guide will teach you how fungi interact with plants and how to best to employ them in your home garden.
A staggering 80 to 95 percent of all terrestrial plants form symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi. In these relationships, or mycorrhizae (mycorrhiza, singular), the host plants supply the mycorrhizal fungi carbon, and in return, the fungi help roots obtain and absorb water and nutrients that the plants require. These relationships are vital to the health of almost all plants that grow on Earth. Each group of mycorrhizal fungi interacts and colonizes its plant host in a different way, in a process so complicated that it took scientists a long time to catch on to its importance.
If you are reading this book, you are probably familiar with the soil food web, the incredibly diverse community of organisms that inhabit the soil. Most of you understand the importance of symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationships among plant roots and a multitude of soil organisms. You are aware of the relationships among bacteria, rhizobia, and legume plant roots that result in nitrogen fixation, and you understand that bacteria can form a symbiotic relationship with plant roots. Soil-borne mycorrhizal fungi, the subject of this book, interact with plant roots in a similar way.
Mycorrhizae have been known since 1885, when German scientist Albert Bernhard Frank compared pine trees grown in sterilized soil to those grown in soil inoculated with forest fungi. The seedlings in the inoculated soil grew faster and much larger than those in the sterilized soil. Nevertheless, not so long ago (in the 1990s), the importance of mycorrhizal fungi was unknown to many farmers and gardeners—and most garden writers. We feared and loathed all fungi, the stuff of mildews and wilts. Fungi were usually considered downright evil, and most of us took a one-size-fits-all fungicidal approach in our gardens. I had been writing a weekly garden column for some 25 years when I first heard the words mycorrhizal and mycorrhizae in 1995. I was embarrassed by my lack of knowledge of these important organisms, but when I asked my peers if they had ever heard of mycorrhizal fungi, they had no idea what I was talking about. (When I first started writing about mycorrhizae, not only did my word processor program’s spell checker reject the word, but my editor did as well.)
“Accomplishes what few other books have—helping growers use mycorrhizae to improve the immune systems of plants. This natural union between plants and fungi is the foundation of our food web.” —Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
“A thorough yet accessible look at mycorrhizal fungi and their critical role in plant health and survival. . . . I recommend this book for the intermediate to advanced gardener, and certainly for anyone who grows plants professionally.” —The American Gardener
“Does much to bring the concept to light.” —Choice
“This small but mighty guide. . . translates complex science into clear language to enhance your knowledge of your garden soil.” —Michigan Gardener
“At the end of this book, you will have all the knowledge you need to make your own inoculants and predict how they will benefit your crop, lawn, or garden.” —The Gardener
“To say [Lowenfels] thinks deeply about this subterranean world [of soil] is an understatement.” —Hamodia
“Teaming With Fungi helpfully demonstrates just how to apply the core principles of the mycorrhizal fungi process to produce healthier, hardier, happier Cannabis plants.” —The Northwest Leaf
“The third great microbe title of Lowenfels' organic gardener's earthy trilogy.” —The Daily Inter Lake
- On Sale
- Jan 11, 2017
- Page Count
- 172 pages
- Timber Press