Post by cornishwoman on Jul 28, 2010 20:40:41 GMT -5
So here I am trying to digest all I can on mycorrhizae spores via the net. Reason being is my soil is so very depleted this season,BUT I think theres still some good stuff way down there some where that the flood didn't wash away so if I apply the spores to the soil the root system will to my understanding, double its size, well not the roots them self's but the tendril's from the spores which attach to the root system.Started a new compost pile but we don't generate enough waste to cover the entire veg patch,have some red clover seed I shall sow come fall and a bale or 2 of alfalfa which I'm sure by chance will find its way to the patch even if it is $7 a bale,chicken poop and horse poop will be dug in, health permitting.Has any one had any dealings with using these spores ......... is it a one time application or a seasonal one,did it make the plants stronger , did you use it in seed beds or when transplanting ,was there less watering during dry periods,or is it a case of too good to be true.I know its quite expensive,cant find just the plain old spores so far,still looking. Any info, 4 or against would be most welcome.
I must go down to the sea again,to the lonely sea and sky,I left my socks and shoes there I wonder if there dry.
Homegrown Seed Development and Project Coordinator
Kate: When you dig up a shovel full of plants (grass weeds, whatever), when the soil is just a bit on the dry side, and you start to beat the soil out of the roots, the parts that hold on around the roots like crumbs, are holding on because of the mycorrhizael threads. If you have that anywhere in your soil (and I cannot imagine you not having it) you can use that to inoculate the rest of your garden. It has to be put around living plants = they quit working without plants to join in symbioses. Being that they are a spore spread organism, I would imagine they just die off, but leave spores behind, for when conditions are more favorable (anybody, please correct me if I'm leading her astray) Mother Nature abhors bare ground, and really prefers that there be something growing in the soil all of the time. The closer you can come to giving her what she wants the better your soil will be. The spores should be basically everywhere in your soil, provided it has not been left with nothing growing on it (weeds count as something). From there it's just a matter of making the rest of the soil organisms happy so they'll feed your plants. When you put nutrients in your garden soil, you're not feeding your plants, you're feeding your soil, which in turn gives up the goodies to your plants. It may seem like semantics, but if you want to prove it to yourself, sterilize some soil completely, add what ever you want for nutrients, and see what happens when you grow something in it. You get nothing near what you would get from soil with healthy microbial life. And I'm starting to rant, so I'll sign off. Cheers Dan
Always pay it forward. grungysgarden.blogspot.com/ I am located about 10 miles. north of the Idaho panhandle and just below Kootenay Lake. The property lies in a small microclimate that gives me a zone 5/6 Canadian version or 6/7 US version. One acre of land at an elevation of 1770', just off the edge of a flood plain. Sandy loam soil, hot days and cool nights (55F).
if I apply the spores to the soil the root system will to my understanding, double its size, well not the roots them self's but the tendril's from the spores which attach to the root system.
Depends on the species. Plants native to forests, particularly conifers (generally NOT deciduous trees) often have symbiotic relationships with fungii. The families Ericaceae and Orchidaceae often have relationships with soil fungii.
Most crops are native to more open situations, where soils tend to be more bacterial than fungal. Most food crop plants do NOT host mycorrhiza.
That's not to say that some fungii are not beneficial. It depends on the soil for one thing. Ever notice that the grass tends to be greener inside fairy rings? That's because the mycorrhiza have broken down organic matter and made minerals available to the grass, that previously were locked up. It also depends on the species of fungus. Having soils rich in harmless fungii tends to help prevent fungal diseases by sheer competition.
Now we had really horrid weather here this year, particularly the cold, wintery spring. Most of my squashes have been failures. The one bed where they are thriving as I have never seen them thrive before, is the spot where the chicken coop used to be, before moving it.
It had a thick bed of animal bedding (grass and weeds, mostly) and chicken manure over it. The native soil is a sandy, impoverished loam. It does not hold water well, is even hygrophobic despite it's open, loose texture (something's wrong with its chemistry), and it leaches out fast. The decomposing organic material is hopefully enriching it with some hummus, which it was sadly lacking.
No bed of mine has ever performed so well no matter what I have enriched it with. I think the key here was that the soil is rich in organic matter that was still fresh enough to have some nitrogen, and bacteria, and benign fungii.
The fungii include Garden Oyster mycorrhiza. If it took I might get a crop this autumn.
There are many mycorrhizal fungi with different ones linking up with different plants. Some plants, like the brassicas for example, don't link up with any fungi at all and others, like some orchids, cannot survive without their fungal companions. Like all fungi, mycorrhizal fungi do best in undisturbed soils. Digging or tilling, for example, breaks the hyphae (threads) that many of these fungi develop. I try to rely on providing suitable fungi food (lots of organic matter) and not working the soil and hope that beneficial organisms, including fungi, proliferate.
Ray Silty loam over clay, pH 5.5, altitude 1000m, latitude 30deg south, 150 frost free days.
I am not very learned but I am always in awe of nature and I have not tilled for 15 years but the things that has seen the fungi establish here is topdressing areas with soiled stable bedding which is wood fibre and hay fed horse manure . All pictures are from Nov 13, I counted 13 different species of fungi on my three acres which seem to favour differing environments from under trees to open meadow and seem to be correlating with areas topdressed very thinly last year. That dressing itself appears decomposed but both spring and fall I have had surges in population sizes and diversity. Pictures are some of the fungi Nov 2010 on our 4 acre farm, bear with me I find this stuff fascinating but don't know a lot, I just experiment with permaculture type growing in the management of our small horse farm. Amoung the missing I did identify Oregon Black Truffle growing in our 15 year old hogfuel riding ring earlier this year and Shaggy Mane also not pictured.