Harnessing the Power of Beneficial Microbes for Plant Growth
‘Beneficial microbes will boost your plants!’
Sounds like some hippie bs, right? Don’t be mistaken, these tiny organisms cannot be overlooked if you are serious about your garden! Beneficial microbes are tiny organisms, often unseen by the naked eye and they play a crucial role in maintaining plant health, boosting growth, and reducing the need for mineral fertilisers.
In this blog post, we will touch on the fascinating realm of beneficial microbes. We will take a look at some of the microbes that are commonly found in the hydroponics/garden industry and how they can benefit your plants.
Here is a list of some of the well-known beneficial microbes:
Mycorrhizal Fungi (Rhizophagus Intraradices): This extraordinary strain of fungi establishes a mutually beneficial partnership with plant roots. Mycorrhizal fungi extend the plant's root system by creating an underground network of their own that works in tandem with the plant's roots. This relationship enables the plant to access water and nutrients that may be otherwise be out of reach of the root system. In return, the plant supplies the fungi with essential carbohydrates, this underground collaboration significantly improves nutrient uptake which leads to healthier and more robust plants. FIND IT HERE
Azospirillum Brasiliense: This nitrogen-fixing bacteria is like a booster for plants, particularly in nitrogen-poor environments. Azospirillum Brasiliense forms an association with the roots of various crops (much like mycorrhizal fungi), where it converts atmospheric nitrogen into a bio-available form of nitrogen for plants to absorb. Azospirillum Brasiliense also influences the hormone production within plants, these hormones stimulate both the growth and rooting processes which lead to stronger plants and stronger root systems. FIND IT HERE
Bacillus Subtilis: Bacillus Subtilis is known for its ability to produce plant growth-promoting hormones. Bacillus subtilis will influence various growth processes within a plant. The hormones that are produced will regulate root elongation, flowering, and overall plant development, resulting in healthier and more vigorous plants. FIND IT HERE
Bacillus thuringiensis: Bacillus thuringiensis is a micro-organism that produces toxins that are deadly to certain insects, this makes it useful as a natural pesticide. By incorporating Bacillus thuringiensis into your garden, you will be able to protect your plants from harmful insects without the need to resort to chemical sprays. FIND IT HERE OR HERE
Trichoderma: Trichoderma is another beneficial fungus that has gained popularity in hydroponics. It functions as a bio-fungicide and promotes plant health by suppressing the growth of harmful fungi that could otherwise cause disease. The Trichoderma fungus will also enhance nutrient uptake (similar to mycorrhizal fungi), by increasing the root surface, this will lead to more absorption of nutrients and water by your plant. FIND IT HERE OR HERE
Reducing Fertiliser Dependency with Microbial Magic
One of the most significant advantages of incorporating beneficial microbes into your garden or hydroponic setup is the potential to reduce the reliance on mineral fertilisers and pesticides.
Enhanced Nutrient Uptake: Mycorrhizal fungi, Azospirillum Brasiliense, Trichoderma, and Bacillus subtilis facilitate the absorption of nutrients, allowing plants to thrive with fewer external inputs.
Nitrogen Fixing: Azospirillum Brasiliense converts atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use, reducing the need for nitrogen-based fertilisers.
Biocontrol: Beneficial microbes, including Bacillus thuringiensis and Trichoderma, protect plants from diseases and pests, diminishing the need for chemical pesticides and their potential harm to the environment.
The world of beneficial microbes is a hidden treasure trove for gardeners and hydroponic enthusiasts. These tiny organisms work tirelessly to enhance plant health and growth while minimising the environmental impact of cultivation.
Next time you grow, consider using one of these microbes to help you unlock a world of healthier, more vibrant plants.
Your plants, and the planet will thank you.