Episode 51: Mycorrhizal Fungi with Jeff Lowenfels

This week I’m speaking to Jeff Lowenfels, author of the ‘Teaming With’ series of books, specifically about the latest volume in the series ‘Teaming With Fungi: The Organic Grower’s Guide to Mycorrhizae’. Jeff writes the longest running gardening column in the US, is a former president of the Garden Writers of America and was inducted into the GWA Hall of Fame in 2005. He lectures on organic gardening, has presented a gardening show on television and is the founder of a programme that has resulted in millions pounds of garden produce being donated to the hungry. And gardening is just his side gig.

I started by asking Jeff what inspired him to write his series of books, which deal with some in-depth scientific concepts around plant growth and nutrition, and also to explain what mycorrhizal fungi actually is.

About Jeff Lowenfels:

Jeff Lowenfels is the author of the ‘Teaming With’ series of books; ‘Teaming With Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide To The Soil Food Web’, ‘Teaming With Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition’ and ‘Teaming With Fungi: The Organic Grower’s Guide to Mycorrhizae’.

Jeff writes the longest running gardening column in the US, is a former president of the Garden Writers of America and was inducted into the GWA Hall of Fame in 2005. He lectures on organic gardening and hosted Alaska’s most popular gardening show “Alaska Gardens with Jeff Lowenfels”. He also hosted a weekly radio show.

He is the founder of a national programme that has resulted in millions pounds of garden produce being donated to the hungry. “Plant A Row For The Hungry” runs across all 50 US states and in Canada and is something Jeff is deeply passionate about.

In his spare time, Jeff is a lawyer.

What We Discuss:

What is mycorrhizal fungi?

How does it interact with plant roots and how does it benefit the plant?

How does the relationship benefit the fungi?

Plants that don’t form symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi

How can we encourage mycorrhizal fungi?

Do different species of plant need different types of mycorrhizal fungi? Is this particularly important in the case of trees?

If we’re buying a proprietary product, how can we be sure it’s appropriate for the plants we’re planting, will contain enough spores and that these will be viable?

How can we protect the mycorrhizal fungi that already exist in our soils?

Links:

www.jefflowenfels.com

Jeff on Twitter @gardenerjeff

Jeff on Facebook

Teaming with Nutrients by Jeff Lowenfels – Timber Press, 2003

Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lowenfels, Wayne Lewis – Timber Press, 2010

Teaming with Fungi by Jeff Lowenfels – Timber Press, 2017

DIY Autoflowering Cannabis : An Easy Way to Grow Your Own by Jeff Lowenfels – New Society Publishers, 2019

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

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