By Kaitlyn Ersek on Jul 14, 2015 7:51:14 AM
The infamous California drought, “now on its fouth year, has taken its toll on water supplies and a reduction of 25 percent is now mandated,” says Denne Goldstein, publisher of Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine.
And, in Texas, water restrictions resulted in hundreds of thousands of lost trees.
But California and Texas aren’t the only drought victims, “56 percent of the entire United States, from California to New England, is experiencing drought conditions and water-related challenges,” confirms Judith Guido, contributor for IGIN Magazine.
Lucky for you there is a weapon in your turf management kit to help you combat drought - Holganix.
In fact, Holganix can help in times of drought and extreme heat in three key ways: 1) stimulating uptake of nutrients and moisture, 2) providing natural wetting agents and 3) enhancing root growth.
1. Stimulating uptake of nutrients and moisture
Mycorrhizae and kelp extract are two examples of ingredients within Holganix that stimulate uptake of nutrients and moisture by the plant, ultimately aiding in drought tolerance.
Mycorrhizae are fungi that live in direct symbiotic association with plant roots. In this symbiotic relationship, the plant excretes energy sources (sugars, amino acids and other plant acids) to the fungi (from the plant roots to the soil for uptake by the fungi).
The fungi use this energy to grow long mycelium (filaments) that extend well beyond the length and width of the plant roots. The mycelium transport water, minerals and nutrients to the roots. In this way, fungi facilitate the uptake of water and nutrients by plant roots.
This is a mutually beneficial relationship in that both the plant and the mycorrhizae receive benefits that they cannot receive independently.
During droughts the plant limits growth or stops growing altogether, ultimately reducing photosynthesis (the process that creates the sugars for the mycorrhizae). Thanks to evolution, the mycorrhizae have learned to minimize the droughts effects on the plant in these distinct ways:
By adding their own expansive network of mycelia, they are able to reach deeper into the soil for water and nutrients outside the reach of plant roots.
By helping the plant better seal up their pores/stomata, the plant conserves moisture. Instead of wilting in the drought, a well hydrated plant keeps stomata closed (the guard cells of the stomata swell). As a result, they close the open space that allows evaporation.
By increasing water pressure in plant tissue, mycorrhizae prevent or delay-wilting, which results in normal cell function and photosynthesis.
Kelp extract found in Holganix also boosts drought resistance.
Minerals and carbohydrates contained in Kelp extract are absorbed and utilized by microorganisms in the soil. Upon death of the microoganisms, minerals are released to the soil, stimulating plant and root growth. A healthy plant with a strong root system has the vigor necessary to support active uptake of water and nutrients.
2. Natural Wetting Agent
Yucca extract is another important tool against drought that is contained in Holganix. Yucca acts as a natural spreader sticker, wetting agent and soil conditioner.
What does that mean?
Spreader stickers and wetting agents help coverage of product on the plant and slow moisture loss. Similarly, wetting agents help reduce surface tension, allowing product to cover the plant so active ingredients can better penetrate the plant tissue.
Additionally, Yucca extract (acting as a soil conditioner) has the ability to help soils hold water.
These unique functions of yucca extract in Holganix each aid in drought tolerance by keeping moisture in the plant and soil, and by allowing for other products and ingredients to better penetrate plant tissue.
3. Enhanced Root Growth
By having deeper, more web-like root systems, plants are better able to reach into the soil and take up moisture and nutrients. Tricoderma spp., is an ingredient in Holganix that enhances root and plant growth. Additionally, as discussed previously, mycorrhizae (found in Holganix) can also help expand the reach of plant roots.
Together, Trichoderma spp. and mycorrhizae contribute to a denser and longer root mass that is more efficient in obtaining the water and nutrients plants need.