Most of the fungi I glimpse at in the soil is through the lens of a microscope, so I love it when I see it first hand in our composts.
🍄 Fungi are microscopic cells that usually grow as long threads or strands and they play a vital role in plant health as well as contributing to our ecosystem.
🍄 Along with bacteria, fungi are important as decomposers in the Soil Food Web, converting hard-to-digest organic material into forms that other organisms can use.
🍄 Fungal strands bind soil particles together, forming stable aggregates that help increase water infiltration and soil water holding capacity.
🍄 Mycorrhizae are symbiotic relationships that form between fungi and plants. The plant provides the fungi with carbohydrates formed from photosynthesis and the fungi providing increased water and nutrient absorption capabilities.
🍄 The vast network of mycorrhizal fungi found in forests allows trees to warn each other about pests, drought, and disease.
🍄 Glomalin, (a by-product from mycorrhizal fungi), can capture and store carbon in the soil, removing it from the atmosphere.
To protect your fungal friends, use no-till practices in your garden, keep living roots in the soil at all times and never use broad spectrum fungicides or high levels of nitrogen or phosphorus fertiliser.