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Friendly Fungi

SOIL BIOLOGY

Forest Floor Biodiversity

Plant root systems are active and complex. There is more than meets the eye in these seemingly simple – typically out-of-view below ground – forms. The root exists in the rhizosphere, a wonderfully alive zone filled with bacteria, protozoa, and fungi.

Plant roots secrete a solution known as exudate to manage, nourish, and protect this zone. Chemical messages from the exudate communicate to nearby bacteria and fungi feeding on the exudate. These messages are as simple as, “find water or iron,” or as complex as, “defend my roots from this coming threat.” Compost in the soil encourages and strengthens plant root health, bolstering the complex system behind the form.

 

Fungicide is No Joke

Why did the mushroom have so many friends? Because he was a fungi.

Maybe you’ve been to the forest and noticed how many different types of trees, bushes, ferns, and other ground cover are all thriving with no synthetic inputs. If you were to dig into that forest floor, you would find so much life in the form of billions of bacteria, protozoa, arthropods, and especially fungi. The relationship between fungi, bacteria, and the root systems of plants is the reason why forests and other natural ecosystems thrive without any human input.

Fungi is not only super cool, but essential to the successful life of anything that grows in the soil. Without the good “fun guys,” the bad ones will thrive. Fungi are the communication network between plants, and they are what allow plants to uptake nutrients.

Unfortunately, fungicides do not discriminate between the good and bad fungi; they attempt to destroy it all. When you eradicate them all, the bad guys are likely to come back first and take over. If you want a healthy garden, feed your fungi, don’t get rid of them!

 
Fungicide is No Joke
Our Mission

Enriching life through discovery, education, and the conservation of plants and the natural environment.

Hours

DAILY
9:00 am — 5:00 pm

Garden Entrance
One Botanic Lane
Houston, TX 77017
Mailing Address

8205 N. Bayou Drive
Houston, TX 77017

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