I planted fava beans this week after a few weeks of cool weather in the 60s, the time was right. Of course, then we get hit with a mini-heatwave and the temps have spiked back up into the upper 70s. It really doesn’t matter that much, the soil temp will stay cool enough for the beans to get a good start and I’ll be harvesting in April.
This year I am doing something a little different, applying mycorrhizae fungi to the seeds. This fungi colonize on the roots of the host plant and serve a beneficial function of converting nutrients in the soil to the root system, and in return take sugars that the plant develops through photosynthesis. With an evolutionary track record going back 400 million years, the mycorrhizhae fungi are well understood and thousands of research studies have validated their effects, strong root systems and more productive plant yields.
The Mykos product is one of many available and the application methods vary but one requirement is absolute, to be effective the fungi have to attach to the developing root system. A simple way to do this is to dampen the seeds and coat with the granules, which are actually living organisms in a processed form. The fungi will stick to the seeds as you prepare to plant.
The seeds will dry out quickly and the fungi can fall off, so you have to move quickly but you can also simply dampen the seeds again. Drop each seed in a hole, in the case of fava beans with the black dot down in the hole. That’s all that is necessary, nature will do the rest. The fungi can be used with all types of seeds and with seedlings if you expose the roots and roll them in a pan of the granules.