Skip to main content

To Till or Not To Till, that is the question? Part 1:

The concept of no-till is to favor the proliferation of mycorrhizal fungal roots on the roots of the crop.  The mycorrhizae produce a vast network of fungus roots called hyphae that are microscopic, however they are of critical importance in holding the soil structure together in what we call macro-aggregate structure.  They are also responsible for many other benefits to the host plant, but for now let’s stick to the soil structure benefit.  The slide below shows this soil fungal hyphae relationship. 


When we plow or till soil we clobber this relationship, making it difficult for mycorrhizal fungi to perpetuate in an agricultural setting for very long, resulting in most agriculture crops not being mycorrhizal.  This includes organic farms as well! 

Beyond the physical characteristic of the fungal hyphae gluing the soil macro-aggregate structure together, the hyphae also contain huge amounts of Nitrogen, which potentially is the single largest contributor of that element to the Soil Food Web.  How do we know this, because research has measured the fungal tissues at  10% Nitrogen, a big number when compared to the many approved organic fertilizers on the market.  For example, liquid fish is only 2% Nitrogen, a very expensive way to get Nitrogen into the system.  Protein Crumblies, a product of Soil Secrets is 8% Nitrogen and a much more affordable way of getting organic nitrogen into the system, when supplemental nitrogen is needed!    So if you inoculate your crop seed every year with a mycorrhizal product like Soil Secrets “White Lightning” you will most likely have an abundance of mycorrhizal tissues always cycling in the soil contributing Nitrogen while they are also gluing the soil together.  What a Great Idea!

Click on the following link to learn more about Soil Secrets “White Lightning” mycorrhizal inoculant: 



Michael Martin Meléndrez
Managing Member of Soil Secrets LLC
www.soilsecrets.com
michael@soilsecrets.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Weed Identification: Goatheads or Stickers

Goatheads ( Tribulus terrestris ) are native to Southern Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Goatheads are also called stickers, sticker weed, bullhead, devil’s weed, and puncturevine. Goatheads are easily recognized by their prostrate growth form, leaves with leaflets, yellow flowers, and stickers (Goatheads). If you miss’em visually then they will stab you painfully in the fingers as you work your garden, or stick to your clothing and shoes. Goatheads are the primary reason local bicyclists must get “thorn proof” tires for riding on area trails and streets. Goatheads have prostrate stems that radiate outward from one central point. Leaves are compound with smaller leaflets. Lemon yellow flowers form along the stems and fertilized flowers form fruits.   Fruits consist of several attached structures called nutlets (Goatheads). Each nutlet is a single seed that becomes hard or woody when mature. Each seed has two sharp spines that easily penetrat

Western Soapberry Tree

The Western Soapberry tree ( Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii ) is native to New Mexico. It grows wild from Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana westward through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, and Mexico. The fruit of the Western Soapberry tree is a drupe. Mature fruits are translucent, amber colored, and contain a black seed. The mature fruit without the seed will produce a good lather with water and has been used as a soap substitute. Fruits persist on the trees through winter. T he Western Soapberry tree can grow 1′-2′ annually reaching 25′-30′ tall and wide making it a good sized shade tree. Fall leaf color is an attractive golden yellow. Currently, there are no improved varieties of the Western Soapberry Tree. It grows well on the alkaline soils of New Mexico and is very tolerant of heat and drought once established. This tree is rarely affected by disease or insect pests making it an ideal specimen tree for your yard or landscape. S

Afghan Pine

The Afghan Pine ( Pinus eldarica ) is also known as Desert Pine, Eldarica Pine or Mondell Pine. Afghan Pine is native to low rainfall areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and southern Russia . In fact, when planted in areas of high rainfall (> 20” per year), it becomes susceptible to a number of diseases and rapidly declines. This problem has occurred in East Texas.   The Afghan Pine thrives in heat, wind, and tolerates drought. Afghan Pine must be planted in soils with good drainage like sand. It is not suitable for poorly drained heavy clasy soils. Afghan Pines are generally pyramidal or Christmas tree shaped in form when young   becoming more oval or irregular with age. The leaves of the Afghan Pine are evergreen needles usually found in groups of 2 per fascicle or sheath. Needles are shed after several years and make excellent mulch as they fall around the trees base.   It has attractive trunk bark that becomes dark and furrowed with age. Af