NY506 - The Compatibility of Timber Based Potting Media with Mycorrhizal Activity in Nursery Plant

Timber-based, non-toxic potting media (pine bark, coir, sawdust) were tested for their compatibility to mycorrhizae - an under-used natural resource in nurseries. Mycorrhizae can enhance nutrient uptake, affect plant physiology (flowering and drought tolerance), improve tolerance to fungal pathogens, and stabilise soil systems. The study found high nutrient levels in the different media (necessary for maximum plant growth) inhibited mycorrhizal infection, and that growers need to find a balance between plant nutrition and mycorrhizal infection. Slow-release fertilisers could play an important role.