Soil Stability for Cucurbit Vegetables

Soil stability relies on the strength of soil structure. Strong soil structure will contain pores that allow the passing of water and air as well as provide room for soil organisms and plant roots to move and grow. Cucurbits have a medium-deep and not very dense root system that benefits greatly from strong soils.

In 1996, it was discovered that a sticky glycoprotein called glomalin has a direct correlation to strong soil structure. Glomalin is produced by symbiotic, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), the active ingredient found in MycoApply®. Not only do mycorrhizae facilitate soil penetration and extension of the active root zone of the plant through the fungi’s mycelial branching (hyphae), glomalin binds micro-soil particles into macro-particles forming strong bonds that result in soil stability and an environment primed for plant growth.

Research indicates as many as 80% of all plants species worldwide have developed symbiosis with AMF, including cucurbits. Cucurbits benefit from MycoApply in three ways. First, since mycorrhizae cannot persist without a host plant, these valuable soil structure builders are depleted once plants are harvested and/or soil is tilled, as in many cucurbit production systems. Second, hyphae provide valuable soil penetration and more efficient access to water and nutrients. Third, these beneficial fungi produce the glomalin that is fundamentally necessary for strong, healthy soils. It follows that by reinoculating with MycoApply each season, long term positive effects can be realized on soil, plants, and yield.