WANT HEALTHIER PLANTS WITH HIGHER YIELDS?
Soil biology and healthy roots make all the difference in making your plant thrive and boosting yields and flavor.
Roots are your plants’ foundation and lifeline in several ways. In any grow setup, they’re how the plant takes nutrients into its stalk, stems and leaves. These nutrients are the building blocks of life. Without them, a plant cannot produce chlorophyll, grow or develop its flowers.
Picture your plants’ roots as straws the plant uses to suck up nutrients from their rhizosphere (root ecosystem). Your plants need the right balance of macro & micro nutrients to thrive, be healthy and have great flavor and yields. Robust roots can absorb more nutrients, while a broader root system can reach further into the plant’s rhizosphere to make use of all that’s present in its soil or hydro solution.
However, roots are more than just nutrient straws. They also condition the plant’s rhizosphere by secreting compounds that interact with the microorganisms present in the environment and antibiotics that kill nematodes and parasites that can destroy roots. The secretions make microorganisms more effective at their jobs, which include protecting the plant from disease and creating space for new roots to develop by eating dead root matter. This ultimately strengthens the plant by increasing its capacity to take up nutrients.
Beneficial bacteria, microbes, fungi, mycorrhizae and roots form a symbiotic relationship with each other. They interact with each other and the plants benefit greatly from this relationship. In addition to eating dead root matter and increasing root reach, beneficial microbes are hard at work in the root zone performing the following tasks:
- Making nutrients more bioavailable to the crop by breaking them into digestible forms
- Maintaining the correct pH in the rhizosphere
- Secreting growth and bloom cofactors into the crop, boosting its essential oil production
- Establishing and maintaining a balanced rhizosphere
- Increasing nutrient transportation to the plant
If your roots aren’t healthy, then your plants aren’t healthy. And one of the most effective ways to keep your roots healthy is to use beneficial microbes, i.e., nature’s invisible army, as part of your grow system. Roots set the tone for the plant’s entire health status, and when they’re struggling or underperforming or infected with a disease, so too is the rest of the plant.
WHAT DO HEALTHY ROOTS LOOK LIKE?
You know how you can tell if a plant is healthy by touching and looking at it? When you’re in the grocery store picking produce, you sort through the different pieces to find the ones that feel solid, ripe and ready to eat. You don’t take the ones that are too soft or discolored — rather, you take the ones that look and feel healthy.
Recognizing healthy plant roots is not much different. Healthy root zones are densely clustered, but you should be able to see every individual root strand. Healthy roots are thick and feel robust between your fingers, not wimpy. They’re muscular and built to work.
The key to building a strong root system and sustaining healthy growth is using a plant root supplement that delivers an army of beneficial bacteria, microbes, fungi & mycorrhizae to reinforce your root zone.
HOW BENEFICIAL BACTERIA HELPS PLANTS FIGHT OFF PATHOGENS AND PESTS
Soil microorganisms can help plants fight off pathogens including those found in various fungi species, viruses and nematodes. Beneficial bacteria can play the role of a vaccine for plants. This is as true for plants that have never encountered harmful pathogens as it is for plants facing an infection. There are several beneficial fungi that fight off pathogenic fungi, pests and diseases as well.
A recent study published by The Plant Journal examined an experiment conducted to see how well bacillus subtilis inoculates plants against harmful pathogens. Two groups of plants were exposed to pseudomonas syringae, a harmful pathogen that infects many different species. For one group, bacillus subtilis was added to plants’ soil. This group produced abscisic acid that closed its stomata — the pores in plants’ roots and other parts of the plant — to block out the disease-causing bacteria. Among the plants treated with bacillus subtilis, 43 percent of stomata were still open three hours after treatment, compared with 56 percent in the control group.
BUILDING YOUR HEALTHY ROOT FOUNDATION PAYS OFF
That’s really the basis of growing healthy plants that thrive and have huge yeilds — when you make it a priority to build and maintain strong, healthy roots, your efforts will pay off in the form of a big, healthy harvest. Experience shows growers achieving 25-30% higher yields with the right balance of nutrients, bacteria, microbes, fungi and mycorrhizae to build a strong root foundation that is able to mobilize and access the required nutrients and fight off diseases.
Watch for more details tomorrow on soil bacteria, microbes & fungi and what they do