When cannabis is cultivated in living soil, microorganisms symbiotically aid the plant by enhancing its access to nutrients. Nutrients like phosphorus and potassium are often difficult for the plant to reach, but microbes break down these elements into forms that are more easily accessible.
In addition to their direct effect on plant growth, beneficial microorganisms also protect plants from harmful pathogens. This means that cannabis grown in living soil has a higher chance of resistance to common pests like damping off, powdery mildew and bud rot.
The importance of bacteria is often overlooked by cannabis growers, but understanding the role that soil microorganisms play in your garden can make a huge difference. Not only do these organisms improve the growth and health of your cannabis, but they also help with nutrient absorption and can even reduce the risk of pests.
Bacteria are single-cell organisms that live in a vast range of environments, including soil and water. They have a wide variety of roles, from being parasitic to having a symbiotic relationship with plants.
There are a wide range of beneficial bacteria that you should consider using in your cannabis garden. They improve nutrient absorption, combat stress, and can produce antibiotics to protect your plant.
Another great benefit of bacteria is their ability to decompose minerals to make them more accessible to your plants. This process is known as nitrification, and it helps your cannabis roots absorb more of the nutrients you give them through fertilizers or soil amendments.
One bacteria that you should consider adding to your garden is Azotobacter vinelandii, which is known for nitrifying ammonia and other nitrogenous compounds in the soil. This process makes it easier for your cannabis to absorb these nutrients and also releases other elements in the process, such as iron.
In addition, bacteria can help to break down phosphates and sulfur, which are both essential for cannabis to thrive. This process is called phytophosphate decomposition and it can be achieved by using a foliar spray or drench of this beneficial bacteria.
Nematodes are also a great source of beneficial microorganisms in the soil and help to keep your cannabis crops well-fed and healthy. These nematodes release the nutrients that they take up into plant-available forms, so in a way, they act as security guards for your crops and can help to improve the overall vigor of your plants.
There are many other microorganisms that can be detrimental to your cannabis garden, so it is important to keep an eye out for them and to do your best to avoid them. If you spot a fungus or a pest, try to get rid of it quickly before it has a chance to spread and cause damage to your cannabis crop.
Soil microorganisms are a vital component of healthy soil. They live in soil and in the water below it, helping plants to absorb nutrients and grow strong. They also help to decompose organic matter and to metabolise carbon dioxide. They can be a key factor in the production of many useful plant products, such as cannabinoids, terpenes and other chemicals.
Bacteria and fungi are the two main types of microorganisms in soil. They can be beneficial, such as mycorrhizal fungi, or harmful, such as pathogen fungi.
In the cannabis industry, fungi are a significant concern because they can cause plant diseases. Pythium fungi, for example, are a common contaminant in growing media and can rot and kill plant stems. Another problematic fungal organism is Fusarium fungi, which can infect crops with spores and spread from plant to plant.
Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent these pathogens from infecting your plants. One is to add biofungicides, which contain beneficial bacteria and fungi. These are designed to stimulate the fungi that help keep your cannabis plants healthy, and reduce the risk of diseases like powdery mildew and Botrytis bud rot.
These bacteria and fungi can be applied to the root zone to prevent the infection of Fusarium or Pythium fungi by increasing the plant’s natural defense mechanisms. This is a simple, yet effective way to increase your cannabis yield and quality while minimizing the effects of disease on your crop.
As with all microbial applications, the benefits of a biofungicide will depend on the type of soil, the pH level, the percentage of Nitrogen and the amount of organic matter in the soil. The more available carbon fuel there is in the soil, the more microbial activity there will be.
The microbial population in the rhizosphere – the area of the soil directly around active roots – is a key factor in the nutrient uptake of plants. This is because microorganisms in this zone can fix nitrogen from the air, dissolve minerals and decompose plant exudates that are released by plant roots.
These microbial populations can be significantly influenced by plant genotype, which influences the migration of these microorganisms from the rhizosphere into the endorhiza tissue. This relationship is important to plant health, growth and development as well as plant protection against diseases.
Nematodes are microscopic (less than 1 mm long) wormlike animals that live in the soil and feed on plants, bacteria and fungi. There are thousands of different species and some are parasitic to plants, while others can be free-living.
Nematode populations can build up so high that they can cause problems with the roots of the plants they damage, reducing their ability to take in water and nutrients. They also cause yellowing of leaves, stunting and wilting in the plants.
They can also cause plant disease such as leaf spot and white mold. Many farmers use nematode pesticides, but these can be hazardous to humans and the environment.
Some nematodes can have very detrimental effects on cannabis crops. These include the root-knot nematode, which engulfs the root and causes swelling of the stems and leaves. It also makes the plants unable to produce any flowers or fruit.
Another important role of nematodes is to provide a diet for several types of small arthropods that live in the soil. They do this by feeding on and digesting a variety of organic matter in the soil, including dead insects.
When they die, nematodes excrete waste that contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which are vital nutrients for cannabis plants. This waste is also an important source of nutrition for fungi that live in the soil and feed on it.
This relationship between the fungi and microbes is so important that it can directly affect the uptake of these vital nutrients by your cannabis plants. The fungi themselves help to break down the organic material into these three nutrients, but nematodes also play an important role in this process.
The most common nematode that attacks plants is the root-knot nematode, but there are five other types of nematodes that can damage cannabis crops. Each of these nematodes has its own unique way to attack the roots of your cannabis crop.
Regardless of the type of nematode, they can damage the roots of your plants and make it difficult for them to absorb vital nutrients. In fact, if your crop is attacked by a nematode, it can become extremely sick and even die from lack of nutrient intake.
Mycorrhizae are one of the most important microorganisms in a cannabis garden. They help increase the plant’s yield and quality by promoting better root growth and nutrient uptake. They also increase resistance to pests, fungi and other threats that growers face.
Mycorrhizal fungi connect the roots of plants, forming a network that can extend for miles. The hyphae that form these networks can be as much as 200 times wider than the plant’s root system, making it possible for the fungi to mine more nutrients from the soil.
As part of the symbiotic relationship, the plant sends extra sugars down to the fungi in exchange for the fungus’ ability to access nutrients it would not otherwise be able to get. The fungi then absorb this sugar and use it as fuel, feeding the plant.
In the process, the fungi also create a thick fungal net that protects the plant from the elements and provides it with an additional source of water. This fungal net can help to protect the plant from transplant shock and death, especially in new plantings.
It can also boost bud production, enhancing the aroma of your harvest. It can also reduce the amount of fertilizer required to produce healthy, high-quality buds.
The best way to incorporate mycorrhizae into your garden is to add compost, a natural food source for these fungi. If you don’t have access to organic compost, you can make your own by burying it in the ground.
Another option is to buy a fungi product that contains mycorrhizal spores, which can then be added directly to hydroponic systems for maximum results. These spores can be mixed with a delivery media in either powder or liquid form, so you can simply add the mix to your nutrient solution to get the job done.
The mycorrhizal fungi that exist in the soil are already beneficial to plants, but many growers may be missing out on them by not adding them into their growing mediums. In addition to their symbiotic relationship with plants, mycorrhizal fungi produce a sticky substance called glomalin that helps to hold the particles of soil together. This sticky substance also increases the strength of the fungi’s web, which in turn strengthens the soil and prevents erosion.