Trichoderma is one of the best allies for the development of your cannabis crop. This is a species of beneficial fungi that can stimulate root growth and protect the plants from other phytopathogenic fungi whilst reinforcing their defence mechanisms.
Besides being an excellent biological tool for pest control, Trichoderma increases the nutrient absorption capacity of your plants, producing strong and healthy specimens and ultimately leading to a more abundant, higher-quality crop.
Trichoderma belongs to the fungi genus and is present in many areas of the planet due to its ability to adapt to different types of soil and habitat.
There are about 89 species of Trichoderma that occur in the form of emerald green mould, coating food, walls, and the trunks of decaying trees. The best known and most commercialised species are Trichoderma virens, Trichoderma atroviride, and Trichoderma harzianum (the latter is the most commonly used).
In addition to being useful in cannabis cultivation, beneficial interactions of these fungi with several types of plants have also been reported. These include corn, cotton, tomatoes, and cucumbers. However, the genetics of the plant is critical in determining the response of specific Trichoderma species.
To survive and reproduce, Trichoderma needs a soil with at least 2% organic matter. It can easily spread via the roots of the plants, which it colonises and protects by creating a symbiotic effect through which both sides benefit each other.
Unlike mycorrhizae, which need the roots to be present for their nourishment and development, Trichoderma can feed from other fungi present in the rhizosphere that could be pathogenic to the plant and may therefore be present in the soil before seed germination, thus facilitating root development.
In addition to this mechanism, known as mycoparasitism, some Trichoderma species have the ability to stimulate the defence mechanisms of the plants. This is one of the best fungicidal treatments of biological origin and, unlike chemicals, it neither pollutes the soil nor causes toxic effects on plants or humans.
But there’s more: some Trichoderma species are resistant to the presence or application of chemicals, such as some herbicides and pesticides, and can even degrade their components, thereby decontaminating the soil.
Another very important aspect of the symbiotic effect between fungi and roots is that soils that have been colonised by Trichoderma can better absorb nutrients, which promotes root development and plant growth. As a result, plants become hardier and more vigorous, which in turn leads to bigger and better-quality yields.
Trichoderma can be used in cannabis cultivation, especially in crops where soil and organic fertilisers are being used, although it’s also suitable for coco coir or hydroponics. The application of Trichoderma helps prevent and treat cryptogamic diseases that may attack the cannabis plants, and it also enhances root development and promotes the absorption of essential nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
Trichoderma is mainly commercialised in powder or liquid format for application via irrigation, although the powder can also be scattered directly on the surface of the substrate. Trichoderma can also be applied foliarly, but only when used as a biological pest control agent.
Trichoderma is usually applied in the first days after transplantation to promote root development. You can also mix it with organic substrates and fertilisers before transplantation or from the early stages of life.
During the growth and flowering phases, Trichoderma can be applied via irrigation every 2 weeks as a preventive measure. When used as a treatment, it may be necessary to apply it every 2 days.
Yes, you can reproduce Trichoderma at home as long as you have suitable tools and the right conditions are in place.
You can start with a Trichoderma-based product or collect it directly from its natural environment. To do this, you need a disinfected knife and some airtight bags or glass jars for storage (to ensure that it doesn’t lose any moisture).
If the atmospheric conditions of semi-darkness, high humidity, and warm temperature are maintained, the Trichoderma will reproduce in the root ball, which can then be cut into small pieces and directly transferred to pots or to a new Trichoderma reproduction tray.
Thanks to their action mechanisms, Trichoderma provide several beneficial effects not only at root level but also for the whole cannabis plant:
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