This white paper is one of a series about optimizing plant growth in greenhouses, which Hoogendoorn Growth Management publishes in cooperation with its partners, in this case Koppert. This white paper elaborates on the micro life in the root zone which is often underestimated in the current practice but plays a key role in plant health and resilience.
Plant health is crucial to achieving the best possible yield and quality with the lowest possible dependence of pesticides. Although the plant root system is poorly visible, roots play an essential role in maintaining plant health.
Roots are the physical foundation of the plant in the soil or substrate, and they take up water, minerals and metabolites to be transported to the leaves, flowers and fruits. Roots also excrete carbohydrates (‘sugars’) and other compounds made in the leaves into the root zone to feed different types of microorganisms such as beneficial bacteria (Bacillus, Pseudomonas) as well as fungi (Trichoderma, Mycorrhiza). These beneficial fungi and bacteria have many functions:
• They form a barrier against root diseases,
• and can even act as a fungicide.
• Some of them are involved in the nutrients cycle,
• or induce resistance in the entire plant.
Together these microorganisms in the root zone – the rhizobiome – form a rich toolbox that can deliver many benefits as long as we treat them right.