Soil – Restoring Health

Q: On my new property I want to get the soil as healthy as I can before planting anything. Is it beneficial to apply mycorrhizal fungi? I want to restore the native microbiome.

A: Mycorrhizae are helpful soil fungi that bring water and nutrients to plant roots. The research about mycorrhizae is decidedly mixed as to its ability to improve growing conditions in different situations. Soil scientists say that mycorrhizae might help with certain infertile soils but would be useless in most others. I think you’d get the best native biome by shredding local leaves and using them for mulch or as a tilled-in soil amendment. Ask your new neighbors for local farms that have animal manure you could till in as well.