Wild Discoveries From My Yard: Mycorrhiza Fungus

micorrhiza - a organic gardeners best friend!

Our monsoons have just started, and everything’s so lush green.  It’s just turned beautiful all around our yard. Birds chirping, wind chime tingling, tree’s swaying. The sky is a luminous kingfisher blue—the rains sure do make everything more beautiful!

On one of those bright sunny mornings, when the floor was really damp but the sun was shining, mamma called me in the yard. I looked curious, and wanted her to say something. Then, out of the blue she pointed to a little yellow thing with a curved shape on the top. It was in the soil.

“Wow! This is just… so amazing!” I said to mamma.”Is this, uh.. micorrhiza?” I had searched up this fungi plant last night, and could easily see that this was another species of micorrhiza that mamma was showing me. Previous day, we had spotted something interesting in the yard and our search led us to ‘Micorrhiza’.

I was so shocked, interested, curious, as mamma told me things about it interminably. My chin was in my hand, looking at the bright yellow tubular things peeking out of the soil. Here are the things I learned:

  • Micorrhiza is a fungi that is found in any undisturbed, untouched, nourished soil, that doesn’t have pestisides or chemicals. It need loose and non-compact soil to grow in.

The story of Micorrhiza

  • Micorrhiza forms a symbiotic relation ship with other plant/trees.
  • In this relationship they form a network under the soil – ‘network of their own roots(hyphae) with the plant’s root system’.
  • What does micorrhiza get in the symbiotic relationship? It gets food. Why? Because micorrhiza can’t make it’s own food – it can’t do photo synthesis, so it takes 10 % of the food from the plant.
  • It forms a network of roots (actually hyphae) with the plant’s root system.

A different type of Micorrhiza

This is a different type of Micorrhiza – it’s so cute! Aww.. it’s like a little mushroom stick!

What other benefits Micorrhiza offer to plants

  • When micorrhiza associates with the plant’s roots system the plant’s overall nutrient absorbing capacity(from the soil) increases up to 1000 times. Those hard-to-reach nutrients in the soil also become accessible, due to the micorrhiza.
  • Micorrhiza helps the plant pump up loads and loads of nutrients from the soil which the plant couldn’t do on it’s own. Here’s an easier example: The micorrhiza take 10 penny’s from you,(because it can’t make food on it’s own) but gives back you 50 penny’s.
  • In drought conditions plants will survive better if they have micorrhiza. Because, micorrhiza can go really deep to fetch water and send it up to the plant.
  • Where the soil has toxins and heavy metals the plants may suffer, but having micorrhiza can help the plants. Micorrhiza will form a protective sheath around the tree’s roots and not let the toxins in.

Micorhiza's white roots found in the soil our capsicum plants were in

Here’s what we found in the soil our capsicum plants were in: Micorhiza’s roots.

                                                               Trivia

MYCORRHIZA SOCIALISM

In the early 1990s mycologist Suzanne Simard and her team at Oregon State University discovered that cobwebby networks of mycorrhiza could connect not only many trees of the same species but also trees of different species. They encountered birch connected to fir trees by up to ten different species of fungi. Moreover, birch trees growing in bright sunlight seemed to be subsidizing fir trees in the shade by sharing sugars via their mycorrhiza network.

A different Micorrhiza species

I mean this is just like a umbrella! The cutest umbrella i’ve ever seen, to be sure. This is a another Micorrhiza species, and it’s grown in three of our pots – yippee!

Look at this species!

Guys, here’s another species we found this in one of your pots- this is all over the pots. Gosh, it looks like little buttons! Right? You could infact, name it button mushrooms 🙂 It’s just adorable.

For more information on mycorrhiza, click here.

I’m really happy to know that we’re able to find Micorrhiza in our garden – which means are soil is good. Woohoo for Micorrhiza:D You’re such a big help to our plants!

“You could do a post about this, in fact, a series about our wild discoveries in the yard!” My mom said to me. She was practically as excited as i was with this idea. I began to type away ‘tinker earth.com’ on my laptop.

What a wild discovery this was! Don’t you think so? Look out for this space – I’m going to come up with many more such wild discoveries in the next few months, because what better time than monsoons here in Goa to keep an eye on such interesting, wild things in my yard and around. Wow, I really can’t wait to, guys! I really can’t!

7 comments

    • Parinita says:

      Hi Miquela –

      Mushroom is actually turning out to be my favorite vegetable. I’d really love growing it, and i’ve been asking mamma 2 -3 times if we could grow it. Wow, wouldn’t it be wonderful? Plucking out mushrooms from your yard and making mushroom pasta? Mmm, lip smacking!

      Thank you for sharing the link with me.

      ~ Pari

  1. Chachi says:

    oh my dear Pari what a blog it is!!! Such a unique wild thing it is, i was reading the blog so keenly. Had never heard about this. Such an interesting topic Pari 🙂 My knowledge on gardening is so increasing all because of ur blog. Interesting part of the micorrihza are the roots. Keep writing more on what n all u fnd. Cant wait to see ur yard 🙂

    Love,
    Chachi

    • Parinita says:

      Hey Chachi!

      I was really happy to look at your comment because it’s been a loong time, since i’ve seen one. You’re right, roots are the main part of the micorrhiza. Sure, i’ll keep writing more discoveries, I’m working on one right now, it’ll be on it’s way!

      BTW, mamma has started a hashtag called Wild Discoveries on Facebook. Everybody can join in and do his / her wild discoveries and share it on fb. 2 people have joined, you could join too, if you’d like. Or, maybe just check it out ;D

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