Increase yield with Mycorrhiza innoculation

strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)March 3, 2013

David Austin sells START, with mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria, to promote phosphorus uptake and blooming.

Epsoma sells Bio-tone Starter Plus NPK 4-3-3 with mycorrhizae: 1,341 colony forming units (CFUâÂÂs) per gram of 7 different species.
Ectomycorrhizal Fungi: 97,440 propagules per gram:
Endomycorrhizal Fungi: 2.64 propagules per gram:

I researched on Epsoma - many people recommended that one. Krista in New York with 100+ blooms per spring flush per rose uses Mycorrhizae.

There's a study that documented increased soil uptake of these elements: Phosphorus, potassium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, and Iron ... when Mycorrhiza is added.
"Effect of Inoculation with Mycorrhiza and of Added
Phosphorus on the Content of Different Elements in the Shoots of Corn"

No phosphorus added: P at 750 compared to P of 1,340 with Mycorrhiza fungi.

25 mg of phosphorus added: P at 2,970 compared to P of 5,910 with Mycorrhiza fungi.

So the effect of adding 25 mg of phosphorus, plus Mycorrhiza jumps the phosphorus from 750 to 5,910.

The jump of iron is impressive, from 80 (no phosphorus added, no fungi added) to 277 with 25mg of phosphorus and mycorrhiza.

Here's a quote from Plant Nutients site: "Phosphorus (P), however, is directly affected by pH. At alkaline pH values, greater than pH 7.5 for example, phosphate ions tend to react quickly with calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) to form less soluble compounds. At acidic pH values, phosphate ions react with aluminum (Al) and iron (Fe) to again form less soluble compounds. Most of the other nutrients (micronutrients especially) tend to be less available when soil pH is above 7.5.

See the link below for increased uptake of many elements with mycorrhiza added. Scroll down to see the table.

Here is a link that might be useful: Increase soil elements with mycorrhiza innoculation

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Campanula UK Z8

I use mycchorhizae in certain circumstances - establishing a 2 year old tree and always when starting a long season of growing or permanent planting in pots. In truth, unless your soil is utterly dead, there will be enough mycchorhizae in the soil to mitigate against using an expensive addition. However, in sterile potting soil, the addition of these granules makes a definite and noticeable difference. It is not a fertiliser.
Mycchorhizae work through a symbiotic relationship between fungal bodies and the root system of plants. The fungi attach the roots via a physical connection (hyphae) to the roots, thereby creating a network (mycelium) of fungal growth which effectively increases the surface area of a root (and therefore increasing its efficacy in making use of nutrients).
While I would usually plant a tree into the ground, the nursey method of cultivation usually involves a degree of undercutting in order to sever the taproot and increase fibrous root growth. The extra mycchorhizae is a helpful addition since the transplanted tree, even a tiny one, is likely to make demands for nutrients which its attenuated roots are unable to supply.
For those interested in this sort of thing, there is an easy way to make your own mycchorhizal inoculated soil. I am rubbish at doing links but Sunseed Desert Technology in Spain have been experimenting with mycchorhgizal 'traps' and enhanced inoculation of growing mediums. Will do more details if anyone interested (especially since there is no outlay of cash involved).

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:06PM
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roseseek

Treatment can be beneficial, when you soil is deficient in mycchorhizal fungi colonies. Syl Arena inoculated his fields in Wasco years ago and found no difference between crops. I guess mine has always been OK, because I haven't noticed any differences in performance when I've used them, or not. Kim

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:05PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Camp: Thank you for the info. and your experience, much appreciated.

Yes, my soil is dead - calcatic dolimitic Frankinstein and
Elmo limestone pH 7.7. Kim Rupert's soil is made out talc plus animal feces and cornstarch. Ingrid's soil is much more elegant: decomposed granite.

I put horse manure, pH 8, in the garage, zero mold. Then I lowered the pH with peat moss (pH 4) and alfalfa meal (pH 6), there was this explosion of ungodly white mold on top - made me scream in shock.

Camp: I going to grow a mycorrhiza farm in my garden, next to my kid's ant farm .... just kiddiing. In a college microbiology class, we grew yeast (aka fungi) in test tubes. They grow best at neutral to slightly acidic medium. They went crazy when I added a bit of sugar.

I might put mycorrhiza fungi, plus peat moss for wetness, plus alfalfa meal, plus a bit of molass in the planting hole. Vaginal yeast infection is one of the first symptoms of diabetes ... fungi loves sugar.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Campanula UK Z8

www.sunseed.org.uk/
research archive

I am not sure how to make a link but the above website has a terrific mycchorhizae project which has since been expanded into African field trials. Do please check it out, Strawbs, I think you will find it really interesting.

For those of you in a hot and water restricted environment, it is a useful site on many levels, I think.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:43PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Kim and Camp. I found that Mycorrhiza won't work in alkaline soil. Here's an excerpt from the link below: "Mycorrhizal fungi prefer slightly acidic soils, pH values between 4.0 and 5.0 are optimal. They cannot exist at a pH higher than 7. mycorrhizas are extremely rare or only rudimentary developed in calcium-rich soils like limestone beech forests"

The above translates to my soil, so I would have to try fluid phosphorus, with documented increased yield in calcium-rich soils in Australia. Solid phosphorus doesn't work at pH above 7, only fluid, or soluble phosphorus.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article and picture of Mycorrhiza fungi

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 5:01PM
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taoseeker

For alkaline soils often the best thing is to keep adding lots of compost every year, or even twice a year and growing whatever is happy in gardens near by. It will get better with time, but it is growing different plants which makes a big difference, and eventually other varieties will do better. Some rootstocks do better in alkaline environments than others. Water soluable phosphorous works fine, but the only problem is it needs regular applications all growing season because it gets bound in the soil. You can of course add acidic sulphur to lower ph, but still it is adding compost and growing plants that works in the long run.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 6:56PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Amen to what you said, Taoseeker! You are right about organic matter decomposes and releases phosphorus (3 University Extension said so).

Sulphur didn't work, it killed earthworms. But pine fines worked great at pH 4 to 5, plus 21% water-retention. I found a site by University of Missouri Extension on fixing clay to plant acid-plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to fix soil for acid plants

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:18PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Strawbs, there is mycchorhizae in all soils, including intensively managed agricultural fields (although somewhat reduced because intensive cultivation disturbs the mycelium)). There are over 150 species of arbuscular mycchorhizae fungii (AMF) and many will certainly 'work' in alkaline environments. However, the granules which you buy (Rootgrow for example) are usually only consisting of several sp. of AMF and will not work in an acid soil (on azaleas, rhodies etc) nor will it be beneficial for certain brassicas.
I actually find this area vastly interesting since soil science is still a bit like neuroscience inasmuch as we only know the littlest amount of what is actually happening. There is much research being done with vineyard management, using AMF to increase immunity to pathogens and definitely to increase yields. It has also been found to have an effect on enabling plants to exist in areas of different acidity or alkalinity to their normal environments.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 3:01AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Camp, for the info. I researched again. Ectomycorrhiza likes pH between 4 and 5. Endomychorrhiza also prefers acidic pH.

It's the Arbuscular mychorrhiza that can thrive on saline-alkaline soil. That one is NOT sold in any commercial products.

If I can grow white fungi on my horse manure by lowering its pH with peatmoss and alfalfa meal ... surely I can grow Arbuscular Mychorrhizza with decayed organic matter in my wet clay.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arbuscular mychorrhiza in saline-alkaline soil

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:46AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Camp, you are right that unless your soil is dead (no organic matter), then one needs to buy mychorrhiza.

The horse manure I get is saline-alkaline like the marsh in China where Arbuscular M. was found. Also horse manure has all the iron, zinc, Mn ... other trace elements .... great stuff for ANY mychorrhiza to germinate, if lime is not added by the stable.

Below is a research that documents iron, zinc, and other trace elements in horse manure. That's enough to feed any fungi and make plants green.

University of Kentucky also tabulated data for iron and minerals in horse and cow manure. I posted that one in a previous thread on horse manure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Research on Iron and trace elements from animal manure

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:23AM
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jeannie2009

Hi Strawberry,
Last spring I planted a half dozen fruit trees. 2 were bought from Costco and 4 from Raintree Nursery. Raintree is a highly regarded fruit tree nursery which mail-orders all over the country. The raintree folks included a packet of mychorrhizia for each of the apple trees I purchased there. Costco of course did not. So I dutifly put the miko stuff in the four holes. As of last fall there did not seem to be any noticable difference. We'll see how it goes this year.
I did do some research on the product and recall that for apple trees it may not be helpful. I didnt research use with rose bush planting.
Similar to roseband planting, Raintree strongly recommend that fertilizer not be used the first summer.

Slightly off topic I also purchased from there 2 fig trees which should work here in the way far north. Cant wait to see how it goes.
Take care,
Jeannie

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:48AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Jeannie: I'm glad to hear from your hands-on-experience. Thank you.

I have just ordered monopotassium phosphate (NPK 0-52-34), after spending months researching. It has a low-salt index of 8.4, with SOLUBLE phosphorus. I also ordered Iron Sulfate for my white pines & acid plants. Total cost for both items? Under $20, free shipping.

Both are from Kelp4less, an on-line store for hydroponics and organics sources. It's free shipping, good rep. on eBay. They have 2-20-20 SOLUBLE fertilizer, with low-salt index of 7.2, plus mycorrhiza & bacteria, molass, calcium nitrate, trace elements... It's cheaper than buying that high salt, high nitrogen Miracle-Gro Rose food.

I'm going to throw away lots of old SOLUBLE fertilizer high in salt, or nitrogen. It bloomed well but why feed salt to your pots?

I find that slow-released organics high in nitrogen like alfalfa (NPK 2-1-2), blood meal (NPK12-1-0), cottonseed meal (NPK 6-3-2), and kelp meal (NPK 2-1-5) are low-salt, and don't leach out from pots like the high-salt chemical nitrogen sources.

I googled USDA data on Salt Tolerance of Fruit Crops ... not that good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Salt index of chemical fertilizer

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Last year I went to hear a local "expert" talk on organic veggies and there were a couple of questions on the use of mycorrhiza. The speaker did an eye roll and said it works great for the sellers of the products....

Now he is talking about the local soil and is very much in to composting so you do have to take his thoughts for what they are worth.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:11PM
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nastarana(5a)

There are ways, which I understand Asian farmers have used for a very long time, to increase the indigenous micrcoscopic fauna on your own land. Intead of importing other species, which might not like your conditions, you grow your own. I think you can find recipes online. AcresUSA has had a number of articles about increasing indigenous mocros the last few years, and there was a long thread on the subject a year or so ago at the idigmygarden forum.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:32PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Exactly - there will always be a full mycelium structure around native trees (Birch and ash, in my area) so a bit of soil from around the roots will be heaving with microlife. You can do this when using potting compost - add a few handfuls of your indigenous topsoil since potting soils are initially sterile.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 6:24AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I'm always glad to hear from you, Kippy!

Thank you, Nastarana and Campanula for your info.

Hi Camp: you are right about "a few handfuls of native topsoil into sterile potting soils". Two books on roses in container recommended the same. ... (one by Douglas Green in Canada and the other by Field in Texas).

Since I love to do experiments, I'll going to try the 2-20-20 low-salt index of 7.2 (compare that to high salt index of other soluble fertilizers with urea at 74 index, and ammonium sulfate at 88.3 index).

Kelp4Less sells 2-20-20 at $14 per pound. I tried the Schultz Bloom plus at 10-60-10 on my petunias in pots. That was GREAT! Triple blooming and triple root growth. That's sold at Lowes food on-line for $2.99. If I see that at Menards, I'll grab it (my soil is tested low in phosphorus.)

What's special about 2-20-20 formula, besides being organic and low-salt, is the blend of Mycorrhiza fungi added: Soluble Inoculant powder Mycorrhizal fungi and 19 beneficial bacteria inoculants. Beneficial Endo Mycorrhizal fungi species ..... They also added molass, which fungi loves.

It would be interesting to compare the results on petunias using chemical 10-60-10 plus my clay mixed with potting soil, versus organic 2-20-20 with endomycorrhizal, bacteria, and molass.

Here is a link that might be useful: Low-salt & organic 2-20-20 at Kelp4less

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 12:31

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:14PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

I found a link by University of Mass. on growth of marigolds on different medium: Planex 20-2-20, Fish emulsion, alfalfa pellets, and fish plus alfalfa. This was done in soiless mix in pots.

Chemical Planex 20-2-20, high in nitrogen and potassium showed the largest mass (from nitrogen) and biggest bloom (from potassium). The alfalfa pellet-plant look yellowish, with much smaller bloom.

Planex also make a product high in phosphorus for young plants to encourage fast root-growth. They sell giant sizes only, so Schultz 10-54-10 would be cheaper at $10, except it's sold out on Amazon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of marigolds growth different fertilizers

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:59PM
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henry_kuska

Adding it to your soil if you spray with fungicides is probably a waste of time.

One of the local nurseries was selling a top soil that was supposed to have added Mycorrhiza fungi. I say supposed to as the bags were sitting out in the sun.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 7:52PM
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kittymoonbeam

I always like to add a little sifted topsoil into the potting mix and also some sand and pumice. It's working out better than the straight potting soil I used to use.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:14PM
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