Saturday, October 31, 2015

What is Endo Mycorrhizae

I mentioned in my last article The Importance of Living Soil that I've been reading more and more about soil and soil organisms.  I've known about Mycorrhizae for a long time but we've just now added it to Mary's Heirloom Seeds to help YOU grow a bigger, more productive garden.
  From our website,

Why should everyone use mycorrhizae?
Mary's Root Boost Mycorrhizae is Endo Mycorrhizae which is the type that is beneficial to over 80% of plant species including most leafy green plants and vegetables. 

Mycorrhizae is a fungi that has a beneficial relationship with a plants roots. When Mycorrhizal fungi comes into contact with a plants roots it begins to colonize, or multiply, on the roots and begins to spread out into the surrounding soil. These strands of mycorrhizal fungi effectively become an extension of the roots and can increase the absorbtion area of a plants root system by 10 to 1,000 times. This allows the root system a more efficient intake of nutrients and water.  

They are particularly effective for agricultural plants that have high water and nutritional needs.  Over 50,000 University studies have highlighted the benefits of mycorrhizal colonization on the health and yield of plants. 

Benefits Include:
Reduces Drought Stress
Reduces Watering
Reduces Transplant Shock
Increases Yields
Increases Overall Plant Hardiness
Promotes Rooting
Promotes Nutrient Uptake

Here's what I found from the experts

What is Mycorrhizae?

Mycorrhizal fungi include many species of fungi, like mushrooms. They all have long filaments that resemble roots, and they grow near plants with which they can share a beneficial relationship. They seek out plants that have tiny bits of food dripping from their roots. They then attach themselves to the plant and extend their filaments into parts of the surrounding soil that the plant can’t reach.
A plant would soon exhaust its small area of surrounding soil of nutrients, but with the help of mycorrhizal fungi, plants benefit from nutrients and moisture found further from home. In addition, they produce glomalin, a glycoprotein that helps stabilize the soil.
Not all plants respond to mycorrhizae. Vegetable gardeners will notice that their corn and tomatoes thrive when there are mycorrhizal fungi in the soil, while leafy greens, especially members of the brassicas family, show no response. Spinach and beets also resist mycorrhizal fungi. In soil where these resistant plants grow, the mycorrhizal fungi eventually die out.  Source

From Dr. Davies Research Page

Benefits of Mycorrhiza:
·  Enhanced plant efficiency in absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.
·  Reducing fertility and irrigation requirements.
·  Increased drought resistance
·  Increased pathogen resistance/protection.
·  Enhancing plant health and vigor, and minimizing stress.
·  Enhanced seedling growth.
·  Enhanced rooting of cuttings.
·  Enhanced plant transplant establishment.
·  Improved phytoremediation of petroleum and heavy metal contaminated sites.
Advantages of Mycorrhiza:
·  Produce more stress resistant plants during production and for landscape.
·  Potentially less pesticide usage.
·  Plants are more drought and nutrient tolerant in the landscape.
·  Potentially higher transplanting success and faster establishment.
·  Value added: Marketing landscape plants with greater stress tolerance.

 If your garden soil and veggie garden could benefit from the above, Check out Mary's Root Boost now available at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.

Sign up for our E-Newsletter

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tuesdays with a Twist #134 LINKUP

Good Morning and welcome to another No Rules Party! 

I've been busy learning and sharing about SOIL.  Find out more below!

If you're growing your own organic food (or you'd like to),
 check out our VERY popular monthly planting Guide
OCTOBER Seed Planting Guide for the US by Region

Are you ready for the party?   We're your hosts 
Mary @ Back to the Basics and Mary's Kitchen
Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
Angie @ God's Growing Garden
Please give a warm welcome to our new co-host
Heather @ Homestead McCoy

Add our button if you've been featured!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Saturday at 11:59am.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 
Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features.   And now for the party!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Storing Garden Seeds for Next Season

We've had quite a few request about what to do with left over seeds.  At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, a packet of Calabrese Broccoli contains 200 heirloom seeds. If you don't plant all 200, You can share them with your friends and family or you can store them for next season/year.

For the best germination rates, try to use all stored flower and vegetable seeds the next growing season. Seed health and viability goes down the longer the seeds are stored.

How long can seeds be stored?

From ehow, "Seed health and viability goes down the longer the seeds are stored. If you must store seeds longer, keep in mind that most types of seeds last approximately 3 years or less.
For flowers, annuals typically last anywhere from one to three years, while perennial seeds can get stored for two to four years. Regardless of the type of seed, the sooner it gets planted, the better.

If you plan to save your own seeds they should be from produce that is very ripe but not rotten.  Remember, cross-pollination is always a possibility when/if you plant in close proximity.
Pulp and Seeds removed
Cleaned and dried seeds from an Amanas D'Amerique A Chair Verte Melon

Storage Options
If you save seeds from your own produce, seeds should be completely cleaned and dry before storing.

Paper is the best storage option for seeds.  Packets should be labelled with date of storage and variety of seed.

If you are storing purchased seeds they have already been cleaned.  If possible, store seeds in their original packaging to avoid mixing up seed varieties.

Excessive heat, light and moisture can damage seeds and make them less viable.  Some people store their seeds in the refrigerator and that's just fine.  I prefer a cabinet or closet (not in the garage, around the oven or above the refrigerator.
Store seed packets in a glass jar and keep in a cool, dry, dark place.

I like to use these Purple Vintage Jars 

The purple jars are a bit darker than the regular jars and they're super easy to label.  Check em out at Mary's Heirloom Seeds, Heritage Collection Seed Saver Jars!

We've added a few new, medicinal varieties this past month.  Have you seen em?

Marsh Mallow

And a few seed combo packs....

Back to Basics Homestead Pack

Homesteader Herb Comb Pack

Homesteader SUPER Herb Combo Pack

I hope you have enjoyed our latest educational article.  If you have additional questions please feel free to contact us at

Sign up for our E-Newsletter