If you’re new to hydroponics or are simply looking for ways to improve your skills as a hydroponic gardener, you may have discovered some information about root inoculants and want to know more.
What is a root inoculant? Root inoculant contains finely chopped and dried roots rich in vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The material aids the root system of plants in absorbing both nutrients and water. Additionally, root inoculants protect roots from pathogens and harmful insects as well.
Read on below and explore our guide to root inoculants for hydroponics!
Root Inoculant Explained
Root inoculant, in a nutshell, consists of mycelium, root fragments, and spores of beneficial fungi called mycorrhizal fungi. The fungi help plants with their water and nutrient uptake.
Root inoculant is somewhat like a traditional fertilizer per se, but it is more like a booster shot.
That said, using root inoculant can dramatically reduce the number of chemicals or fertilizers you need to use.
The organic microbial inoculants found in most root inoculant products come from beneficial bacteria, fungi, and even algae found naturally in the foothills, high plains, plains, and deserts.
Using root inoculant in hydroponics may even cut back on the number of nutrients you need to add to your reservoir every two weeks.
Is Root Inoculant the Same as Soil Inoculant?
Soil inoculation is what happens when you add beneficial bacteria to plants/seeds that you plant into the soil. The practice ensures that enough nutrients and good bacteria are present.
The aim of soil inoculation is to increase the level of nutrients and nutrients in the soil, in general.
The goal of root inoculation is to aid the growth and development of the root systems of plants.
Root inoculation and soil inoculation are similar and even closely intertwined sometimes but are not the same process or involve the same exact type of products.
Benefits of Inoculants
- Improves water and nutrient uptake
- Reduces the harsh impact of chemical/fertilizers
- Improves moisture retention levels
- Reduces soil erosion and improves the quality of soil
- Protects against pathogens and insects
Do Mycorrhizae Work in Hydroponics?
Mycorrhizae, or root inoculant, works just as well in hydroponics as it does in the soil outside in the garden.
The solution containing mycorrhizae may be added directly into water reservoirs in hydroponic systems or used to dip roots while transplanting plants into hydroponic systems.
What Plants Benefit From Root Inoculant?
Believe it or not, most plants benefit from root inoculants, including vegetables, annuals, perennials, and even trees and shrubs.
A few of the main plants that benefit from root inoculants are:
- Pine trees
- Fruit trees
- Seasonal flowers
- Annual flowers
- Most herbs and house plants
How To Use Mycorrhizal Inoculant
Using mycorrhizal inoculant is a relatively easy process. It may be applied directly to the soil or onto plant roots when you are planting them.
Keep in mind that all indications point to a higher success rate when mycorrhizal inoculant is applied directly to roots.
The best way to use mycorrhizal inoculant is to simply sprinkle it onto the root ball right before you put it into the ground and cover it with soil.
You can also sprinkle it onto seedling trays when you’re planting them.
For hydroponic application, simply mix it directly into your water reservoir along with nutrients.
Best Root Inoculant for Hydroponics
Now that we’ve discussed root inoculant in depth as well as how to use it, let’s take a look at some of the best products on the market:
The 1-gallon Botanicare Hydropguard is a popular root inoculant product that lasts for up to two years. The formula consists of all organic matter.
It helps provide extra nutrients as well as fix issues with plants’ uptake or water and nutrients. Using Botanicare Hydropguard is a sure way to promote larger root mass and vigorous growth.
The second root inoculant product on our list is Trifecta Mico Supreme, a 2-ounce container that packs a big wallop.
The product is 20 times more concentrated than other products/brands, so don’t let the little package fool you.
Trifecta Mico Supreme is a high-end product with high performance and a proven track record of superior quality. If you want bigger healthier roots, give it a try.
A fan favorite with hydroponic growers is the General Hydroponics SubCulture M. The formula builds stronger root systems and increases the size of roots and their overall health, including yields.
The product also increased nutrient and moisture uptake significantly. It is available in a 10.58-ounce container for easier mixing.
The MYCO+ Super PRemium root inoculant is another premium root booster-type product worth your consideration.
The product works in all gardens as well as hydroponics. It increases water and nutrient uptake by plants’ roots and the size of root systems as well.
One container is 7.1 ounces and treats up to 200 gallons of water.
The Big Foot Organic Mycorrhizal Concentrate is another popular and potent root inoculation solution. It’s designed specifically to improve growing results and works in soil and hydroponic systems.
The solution provides results for perennials, annuals, veggies, herbs, trees, houseplants, fruit, and more.
Not only does this product increase root health, but it also improves overall plant health and yield size as well. The container weighs 2 pounds.
Last but not least is the Green Eden Endoboost root inoculant solution. This is one of the most potent solutions on the market.
It works well for professional-grade hydroponics as well as hobby-size systems. The formula promotes rapid root growth with all-natural ingredients.
It’s easy to use and works for almost any plant you can imagine. It’s also non-GMO.
Root inoculant for hydroponics works wonders for the root systems of plants and much more. With root inoculant in the system, hydroponic plants grow faster, stronger, and produce larger yields as well.
It even reduces the amount of nutrients you need to provide to your system. That said, it is not a total replacement for nutrients.