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Old May 23, 2009   #1
hasshoes
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Default Myco + Ferts = Death or Puniness?

Ami is there anyway you can help explain this more?

I used Myco and Neptunes Harvest Fish and Kelp on my seedlings (not at the same time) and they ended up looking horrendous. I was thinking I had "crud"--- and I def. now think I do/did on KBX, but as my seedling look/ed dry and parched- I wonder if this could have had anything to do with it:

On Biovam's site:
http://www.tandjenterprises.com/nutr...recautions.htm it says that applying ferts with phosphorous over 2%- particularly of the soluble kind can "result in your plants drying up and dying rather quickly." Ack!

YIKES! Why is this? And why didn't funghiperfect warn about this? Is it different for each brand?
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Old May 23, 2009   #2
amideutch
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Normally,I apply my Myco and Actinovate on Plant Out. Almost anytime I talk about Mycorrhizae I always emphasize not to use ferts with a phosphorous over 4 in the NPK. The University of Hawaii had a good article on Mycorrhizae and phosphorous which I will have to find.
When did you apply your mycorrhizae to your seedlings. T&J is about the only site that I have found that addresses this issue and have seen other sites that state you can use any fertilizer regimen!! Which Myco from Fungi.com did you use?
When I transfer my seedlings which are started in Jiffy 7's to my 4" CowPots I use Fox Farms "Light Warrior" planting mix which already has mycorrhizae in it.
I looked up Neptunes fish and kelp and believe it is a 2-3-1 which should be no problem. Normally I don't use my ferts full strength until I set my plants in their final resting place and they have become established.
How far along were your seedlings when you applied the Myco?Was it done before plant out or after. Pictures would be helpful. Ami

Here's a short article on mycorrhizae and the effects phosphorus has on it.
http://mining.state.co.us/TechnicalB...orusLevels.pdf
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Old May 23, 2009   #3
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Thanks Ami.

I did the Myco when I repotted from the initial seedling start stage. . . I thought that would help the roots?cute: Lol, it may be they just got too hot. . . not trying to put the blame on anything or anyone at all (besides myself ). . . I just saw that over on that site and was like. . . hmmmmm.


I think I did the myco when they were like two weeks?. I don't have pics of the initial "horror" . . . they're making a slow comeback as I've tried to get them outside as much as possible and drain/flush out the soil.

And honestly as a non-newbie I'm embarrassed to show what my plants look like at this stage. . . lol. . . my first year of doing this they looked sooooooooooooo much better!

Ooops. . . live and learn.

Ps I used the water soluble little small pack from funghiperfect. I think it was like $5 or so. . . and I diluted it--- didn't use the whole pack obviously. Thanks again for any info and advice. . .

I think my plants will make it. . . I'd just like to learn from this and not do it again. . . or even not do it again when my plants are in the ground!
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Old May 24, 2009   #4
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Heather, roger on live and learn. I also used the Myco soluble this year, It's almost black in color and have had no problems so far. I'm also using BioVam from T&J at my surrogate garden and his Organic Gardening Fertilizer Kit. So will have a chance to see how that works out.
To everybody I would wait on applying Myco products till plant out and apply your ferts,if you choose to do so, at half strength till the plants are established which is about 2-3 weeks after plant out. And please, no fertilizer products with a (P) higher than 4. Depending on the makeup of your soil which only a soil test can provide, you may not have to add any additional ferts. As I grow most of my maters in containers, I use organic ferts due to the constant depletion of nutrients by the plant as it grows. And do to the size of my containers which are 5-7 gallons it becomes more critical as opposed to Earthboxes and EarthTainers which are anywhere between 18-32 gallons. Ami
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Old May 24, 2009   #5
dice
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Think about what Mycogrow Soluble is exactly. It is spores for
bacteria and fungi. All that will happen when they get water
is that they will become live organisms, start feeding on organic
matter (and possibly rock in some cases) in the seed starting
mix, container mix, or soil, and (reflexively, in a chemical sense)
try to find a live root to inhabit. If they don't come in contact
with live roots within a few days, they will be short on some
nutrients produced by roots that they need to thrive, and the
microorganisms will die.

The ones that do come in contact with a live root become little
colonies, reproduce, and spread through the roots from one end
to the other.

They cannot burn seedlings themselves, because the MycoGrow
products (and Actinovate, and about a dozen other brands of
similar products) do not contain any chemicals. They cannot
transfer anything from the soil to the plant that has not been
provided to the soil some other way, and their rate of transfer
is entirely organic and natural.

Neptune's Harvest is an unlikely culprit, too, for the reasons
Ami mentioned. One would need to mix it at five times full
strength to get enough concentration to maybe shock a
seedling enough to stunt it. Most people undermix it for
seedlings (maybe teaspoon per gallon, about what the
bottle might suggest for foliar feeding, if it does).

Excessive heat, though, that can do it. So can overwatering
(leaving the seed starting mix with too little air space). So
can any kind of toxic pollutants in the seed-starting mix
or water (too much salt, for example, or an excess of metals
like aluminum, zinc, and so on).

(I looked up flouride once to see if that could be bothering
my seedlings, but the symptoms on those that were struggling
did not really seem to match what one would see from flouride
build up in the soil. It is not so much that the flouride itself
is toxic to the plant as that it blocks uptake of some trace
elements that the plant needs, so what one sees looks like
a deficiency of some other trace element.)

One thing that I see happening occasionally is that the
seed-starting mix becomes a kind of solid block as it dries
out, and then water runs around it and out the bottom without
moistening the soil in the pot. Bottom watering helps with this
problem.
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Old May 25, 2009   #6
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Thanks for the advice you guys. . . good stuff.


I just read this:

Important note: Once you treat your plants with BioVam mycorrhiza, you need to inform others who may decide to fertilize your plants that they are not to apply fertilizers that are above 2% phosphorous to your BioVam treated plants. Such fertilizers, especially where the phosphorous is soluble, can result in your plants drying up and dying rather quickly. You may think you are the only person who will be caring for your BioVam treated plants, but everyone in your household who has access to those plants needs to clearly understand this important rule.

and went "nnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooo!"cry::c ute:
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Old May 25, 2009   #7
dice
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[BioVam and phosphates]

I doubt that the interaction of mycorrhizal fungi and high
phosphates could dry up and kill your seedlings. (The paragraph
at the BioVam site gives that impression, but that would be
a wrong conclusion, in my humble opinion.) High phosphate
levels might be able to do that to the seedlings on their own,
whether mycorrhizae have been added or not (I have crisped
a few with high phosphate blossom boosters over the years,
trying to cure the early spring cold weather purples), *and*
high phosphate levels will inhibit the development and growth
of mycorrhizal fungi, but those two effects are independent
of each other.
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Old May 25, 2009   #8
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So, let me see if I am clear on this: you inoculated your
seedlings with one of the Mycogrow preparations, then
someone fertilized them with Neptune's Harvest, and after
that they ceased to thrive.

Neptune's Harvest does not qualify as a high phosphate
fertilizer. It is very mild-mannered, even at the full strength
recommended on the bottle.

What the fertilizer may have done, though, is combined with
something in the seed starting mix to become a binder, leading
to water running around it instead of through it when you water.

If you don't have a moisture meter, try pushing a chopstick
down through the container mix around one of the non-thriving
seedlings that looks and feels fairly dry. Does it penetrate
easily, or does it have to break through some kind of crust
before it will push down into the seed-starting mix in the pot?

If the seed-starting mix is forming a hard, dry crust as it dries,
that is likely the real problem. Early in the season, you could
have let them get fairly dry, then shaken them out and repotted.
Kind of close to plant-out for that now, though. I would just set
them in water, and let the plant soak it up until you can tell
by the weight that it has plenty of water.

Edit:

I did overgeneralize a little in the description of the interaction
of the Mycogrow Soluble spores with the soil and root system.
There are a few types of bacteria in there that do not require
a live root system to survive. But the mycorrhizae (fungi) all do,
and perhaps some of the other organisms in that ingredients
list thrive better on live roots than anywhere else as well (they
eat or otherwise use something exuded by the roots).
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Last edited by dice; May 25, 2009 at 01:42 PM. Reason: to be precise
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Old May 25, 2009   #9
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There was sort of green stuff on top of some of the soil before I added the Neptunes. . . now, no more.

I think you are right about the bonding Dice----- the top of my dirt keeps really crusting. I have been giving good drenches. . . making sure the plants feel a sorta bit of heaviness. . . even jabbing my finger down the side of a couple that I deemed "sacrificial" a while ago. . .

On the plants that look bad I used Ferry-Morse "organic" mix as opposed to the Johnys or Pro-Mix or Farfard or whatever it was I used a few years ago. I have one set of seedlings with OMRI listed mix "Black Gold" I think. . . and haven't put anything put Neptunes on them (no Myco). . . and while they are smaller because I started them late. . . they look very healthy.
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Old May 25, 2009   #10
dice
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If I recall correctly, Black Gold is a Sun Gro product, one
marketed to the retail nursery market:

http://www.sungro.com/products.php

Should be ok. (I see their potting mixes, etc, occasionally in one
of the chain stores up here. I have not used it myself.)

I used a Sun Gro plug mix (LG-3) this year that I traded
something for last winter. It has a nice texture, but it holds
water a little too well for seedlings that need to stay in
newspaper pots for 6 weeks or more (80+% peat, with some
vermiculite and perlite for drainage). When I mixed it 50/50
with some 1/2 sand, 1/2 composted wood waste that I have
for outdoors before potting up, that was not good, either.
It tended to crust up and lost large pore air space compared
to the peaty LG-3. The sweet spot was 75% LG-3, 25% the sandy
outdoor compost. The seedlings I potted up into that were far
and away the healthiest. They were started 2 weeks earlier,
but at plant out they were 2-3 times as big and completely
healthy.

All seed-starting mixes are clearly not created equal.
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Old May 26, 2009   #11
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where i live...the soil is naturally hydrophobic. it's a problem for absolutely everyone. how we treat it over here is with soil wetters that are a bit of mild-mannered dish-like soap which, when watered onto the soil's surface, penetrates into the dried out bits and allows the water back in.

about the fungus...
is it like yeast...in that it remains dormant until the correct conditions present themselves and then they begin to multiply and thrive? i ask...because i'm interested in knowing if it is possible to create and maintain your own colony.
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Old May 26, 2009   #12
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Quote:
about the fungus...
is it like yeast...in that it remains dormant until the correct conditions present themselves and then they begin to multiply and thrive?
Not being a microbiologist, I do not know for certain all of
the details of the mycorrhizae lifecycle, but I think we can
infer that would be true of anything where the product as
shipped are dry spores. Otherwise, mycorrhizae and bacterial
spores shipped in products like the dry Mycogrow preparations,
Actinovate, Rootshield, and so on would be completely
worthless. If that were the case, we probably would come
across a few naysayers when searching the WWW for these
products. (I wonder how long they remain viable in dry
storage. Probably varies with the organism.)

(We do find a few skeptics in academia, but not for reasons
having to do with dry spore or cultured organism viability.
They simply do not find credible the claims that introduced
fungi, beneficial bacteria, etc, will survive in competition with
native soil organisms in a particular area.)

It may be that moisture (and perhaps temperature) is the only
precondition needed to get them to become active. How long
they survive and the extent of subsequent spore production
may depend on other conditions that they find once they
become active. (Actinovate has a minimum temperature to
be effective, for example, and phosphate levels will effect
mycorrhizae reproduction in the root zone, plus mycorrhizae
need to come in contact with live roots.)

I was wondering about that with mycorrhizae the other day.
Will mycorrhizae survive the winter in my soil without live
roots? Do they leave spores behind that do not get eaten
by something else in the soil over the winter? Will the
mycorrhizal fungi survive if there is a winter cover crop
growing there to overwinter on the roots of? I usually end up
mowing the cover crop within a couple weeks of transplanting,
simply because that is when it flowers, so if mycorrhizal fungi
will inhabit the cover crop roots, it might still be alive by the
time I transplant the next year's veggies into the garden.
(Maybe I could even inoculate containers with a handful of soil
from a bed that had mycorrhizae the year before and a winter
cover crop.)

I know nitrogen-fixing bacteria on the roots of legumes survive
in the soil for awhile (or leave a sufficient load of spores behind
to inoculate a subsequent crop). A couple of sites that review
cover crops recommended inoculating seeds of alfalfa, clover,
vetch, etc, "in fields where a crop of the same kind of plant
has not already been growing recently," (meaning that if that
kind of plant was already grown in the field the previous year,
then new seeds do not need to be inoculated with spores of
nitrogen-fixing bacteria).

Some of these beneficial microorganisms die off in cold winter
weather. Maybe keeping them going in a container indoors
or in a greenhouse over the winter would be a way to have
a permanent culture of beneficial microorganisms that could
be used year after year. (Put a teaspoon of the cultured soil
in with seedlings when potting up, water with a diluted
molasses solution, and let nature take its course.)
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Old May 26, 2009   #13
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Sorry to bug you guys again (you've created a monster!). . . but Dice or Ami. . .

So does this mean you can't use bonemeal with myco?

Or is it okay in small amounts because it's slow release?
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Old May 26, 2009   #14
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Heather, is there a reason why you want to use bonemeal? How many plants are you going to grow and will they be grown in containers or in the ground. Bonemeal is 2-14-0 so it wouldn't be a good match. Desert Bat Guano at 8-4-1 and Greensand at 0-0-3 would be a better blend to use with Myco. I'm trying T&J Enterprises Fertilizer kit along with BioVam Myco and Microbe Tea on 15 tomato plants this year compared to my other plants which are using the same regimen as last year . All my plants this year were planted with mycorrhizae from different sources and Actinovate. The T&J kit which has enough ferts for 15 plants comes with Planters II trace mineral fertilizer, Biosol Mix 7-2-3 organic fertilizer and a Calcium Kit. Cost $17.14. Ami
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Old May 27, 2009   #15
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I do not know whether bone meal would bother mycorrhizae
or not. It does have quite a bit of phosphorus, but like you say
it is slow release (cited as having a 90-day breakdown time in
soil in various references). I just do not know whether it will
eventually build up to a level where the mycorrhizae will be
inhibited. Certainly it is not going to bother them for the first
two months at least. Maybe by then the plants are already big
enough that any negative effects from the phosphorus in the
bone meal on the mycorrhizae are not noticeable.

You would have to try it with and without, ie one plant with
mycorrhizae and bone meal and another with no mycorrhizae
and bone meal and see if you notice a difference (both plants
should be the same cultivar, something that tends to produce
very consistent results from one plant to another and one
season to another; some reliable, mostly bulletproof canner
like Rutgers or Campbells 1327 would be a good choice for
a test subject, and you might want to do 2-4 each way
instead of just one).

Another issue is that phosphorus tends to stay put in the soil
once it becomes available. There is very little migration of
phosphorus from one part of the soil to another. So even if
it built up around particles of bone meal to the point where
the mycorrhizae on the roots are effected, the effect would
be localized, not general. You would have these little islands
in the soil, like stars in outer space, where there is little or
no mycorrhizae, while most of the root ball, the roots in
between particles of bone meal, would still have a healthy
mycorrhizal population.
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