oldmainer(z5 Maine)April 17, 2011

Hi wife recently got a free sample of a product called Thrive through the mail. It's goal is to improve the soil that your tomatos are planted in. Has anyone used this product and if so what have been the results? Me thinks it is like the stuff you add to your septic tank...a waste of money. It's in the same league as home compost piles catchin' on fire...dew ponds...and peat moss runnin' out. Thanks for any info you might want to direct in my direction...Oldmainer

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Dan Staley

Designed to part you with your money.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 10:25AM
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Is it this?

Here is a link that might be useful: hormone therapy

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 8:53PM
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oldmainer(z5 Maine)

Hi pnbrown...nope...this stuff is made by ALPHA BIO SYSTEMS INC. in Wichita,KS Seems to me if you had reasonably good soil and moisture you wouldn't need to add any magic material to improve things...:-) Anyway it just seems like witchcraft and voodoo to me designed to make your wallet thinner...:-) Oldmainer

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 5:49AM
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marthacr(z5 Me)

I'm sure it's not recommended for organic production...
It's very popular with the African Violet growers. At least it was when I was growing them quite a few years ago. I used it then and thought that it seemed to help my plants. I think if you believe ANYTHING hard enough, it will work :)


    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 10:35AM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Getting the fluffy dirt from old forest ground is same thing for free.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thrive

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 12:38PM
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It appears that THRIVE contains Mycorrhizal fungus which does aid tomato growth and health. Check your local box stores and read labels looking for the inclusion of this fungus which is now being added to potting and starter soils. Lowes is carrying a good one by Espoma named Bio-tone Starter Plus all natural plant food in 4# bags. You should find it inside the store hiding between fertilizers and weed killers. Good product.

To pick up on Lou Midlothion's thought above...if you live near a forest search for fallen rotting trees. Gently scoop up that rich, black decayed stump dirt and use this as it is the purest form of Mycorrhizal fungus to be found anywhere. Yes, it is very fragile and must be handled and stored with care. A handful of any of the MF products scattered in a planting hole is all that is necessary.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 1:43PM
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oldmainer(z5 Maine)

Hi nandina...yes...I will look for black stump dirt/dust when I go walking out on the back forty...and when I'm cutting my firewood. You say it is fragile and must be handled with what do you suggest for a container and how should it be stored? In the mean time untill those questions are settled I'll mix in compost...wood chips...and peat moss in my garden soil. PH is usually on the acid side of things...but not bad. I fertilize with Liquid fish from Neptunes great. Oldmainer

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 5:54PM
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If you make the soil you have into a good healthy soil by adding sufficeint amounts of compost and other types of organic matter so that soil is well endowed witrh organic matter and is evenly moist but well drained, with balanced nutreint levels, 16 ounces of something (no matter the cost) spread over 2500 square feet will do nothing to enhance growth.
As Dan stated, designed to part you from your money.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 5:52AM
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Nandina could you elaborate more on how decayed stumps would be full of mychorrhizal fungi?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:46AM
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Answers to questions above:

1. I store 'stump dirt' in small paper sandwich bags, turning over the tops and stapling them shut then stand each bag in a plastic bag leaving the top open and store them in a cool, dark spot where they will not freeze.

2. Buried here on GW are some posts I have done on Mycorrihizal fungus. In the natural world MF develops when plant debris, leaves, limbs, spent blossoms, etc. fall to the ground and COLD compost on the soil surface. Those plants/shrubs/trees which utilize MF in an undisturbed environment develop feeder roots that seek MF usually found within the top 3"-5" of soil. The 'stump dirt' to which I am referring has spent years developing in the cold composting process of breaking down naturally. Thus it and the soil beneath is teeming with MF.

I first learned of this many moons ago while walking through an undisturbed woodlot in New England with my dad, then editor of Horticulture and Dr. Karl Sax, Director of the Arnold Arboretum. I learned that reference to MF goes back to the mid 1800's and that the researchers at the Arnold Arboretum were studying it. It was there that 'stump dirt' was tested and found to be a good natural source of MF. I have used it whenever fortunate enough to find some with great success.

The home gardener can easily encourage MF to develop using the following methods:
1. In the fall run leaves, spent garden debris and small branches through a chipper and spread this back on the garden beds as a mulch. This mixture of everything growing on a property will cold compost, develop MF and be available to those plants which use it.

2. Use the Ruth Stout method of vegetable gardening; straw mulch every year never disturbed except to plant rows and those vegetable parts not edible tossed on top of mulch to cold compost.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 1:38PM
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oldmainer(z5 Maine)

Hello kimmsr...I think you are right. Oldmainer

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 2:13PM
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This product does work. The reason a small amount can be used is because it is a bio-inoculat. It has fungi and bacteria in it. Most bacteria can double their biomass in less than 24 hours. Some can do this every 20 minutes. Finding a natural source is graet if you can, but if you can't then a store bought product works great. I started using thrive this year and my plants took off. This is the first year of me switching to organic in my garden but I have seen the results of thrive on other sites other than the THRIVE website.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 3:08PM
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