Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old May 8, 2017   #1
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 395
Default Do any of the "root growth" products work well?

There are a bunch of these! Any tricks you have learned to reliably aid root development in seedlings. Mycos? et. al. Typical starter solutions e.g. Schultz Starter Plus? For me, I have seen no root improvement from additives over a good planting mix with very modest fertilization after a couple of days of true leaves appear. But I'm ever hopeful for a "magic bullet!"
-GG
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2017   #2
Father'sDaughter
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MA/NH Border
Posts: 4,193
Default

Since I began using DE (Utrasorb from Autozone) for seed starting, I've seen huge root systems on my seedlings. The roots balls are typically three to four times larger than the plant.
Father'sDaughter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2017   #3
shule1
Tomatovillian™
 
shule1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Southwestern Idaho (zones 4–6)
Posts: 689
Default

You might try adding extra potassium and phosphorus (which both help root development), as well as worm castings (which may have mycorrhizae and microbes that help bring out the natural phosphorus in the soil). My worm castings seem to have mycorrhizae by the look of the roots, anyway.

For potassium and phosphorus, you could try monopotassium phosphate. Potassium sulfate works pretty well by itself, though. The amount and efficacy of potassium and phosphorus that you get from some pre-mixed NPK fertilizers may not be optimal. It really depends on your soil, and the fertilizer, however. I've noticed that this stuff works, at least (not every full NPK fertilizer I've tried seems to do a lot, however, and they sometimes have unsafe substances in them). I really need to apply some potassium and phosphorus to my seedlings, this year, actually (they're unfertilized as of yet).

Loose soil should help, too (at least before the transplant).

Excess nitrogen may do the opposite of extra potassium, just for the record (but you don't want to get too much potassium, either). If your plants' stems bend easily, they could probably use more potassium.

Rockdust may help for root strength, due to the calcium and silica in it, but you have to be careful to use a safe amount or the soil may be too alkaline.

Wood ash is a source of potassium and calcium; it may also make the soil more alkaline. Tomatoes seem to love it. I'm not sure about using it with seedlings.

Extra light should help, too.

Last edited by shule1; May 9, 2017 at 04:00 AM.
shule1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2017   #4
carolyn137
Tomatoville® Moderator
 
carolyn137's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Upstate NY, zone 4b/5a
Posts: 19,885
Default

In my opinion, good root growth of newly germinated seedlings is directly correlated with what medium you sowed the seeds in.

Nothing else is needed.

Carolyn
__________________
Carolyn
carolyn137 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2017   #5
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 7,227
Default

I like MycoGrow from fungi perfecti. It will make your roots nice and fuzzy. It's certainly not required, but it's worth the five bucks or so they charge. Store it in your fridge, and a home gardener can get multiple years out of one $5 pack.

Last edited by Cole_Robbie; May 9, 2017 at 04:45 PM.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9, 2017   #6
kurt
Tomatovillian™
 
kurt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 2,068
Default

From the archives.thanx ami

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...ighlight=Mycos


Late note.I have been inoculating the mediums throughout seed starts,application of the beneficials up to final destination.For containers,small patches,or if you will plants that are not acclimated to your regimen(as everyone else seems to be doing No Till as I)inoculation gives them a good start,and finish.
__________________
KURT

Last edited by kurt; May 9, 2017 at 05:48 PM.
kurt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10, 2017   #7
Keiththibodeaux
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 581
Default

This stuff works.
http://www.horticulturalalliance.com...ulant-compound
Keiththibodeaux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10, 2017   #8
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 395
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keiththibodeaux View Post
Presume you have used this on tomatoes in a regular planting mix?
-GG
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10, 2017   #9
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 395
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Father'sDaughter View Post
Since I began using DE (Utrasorb from Autozone) for seed starting, I've seen huge root systems on my seedlings. The roots balls are typically three to four times larger than the plant.
I made a brief try of DE and didn't see any difference overall, but wasn't really looking at root development. It is essentially sterile, isn't it? Did you use some specific fert. regimen in conjunction with DE?
-GG
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10, 2017   #10
Father'sDaughter
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MA/NH Border
Posts: 4,193
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatgardens View Post
I made a brief try of DE and didn't see any difference overall, but wasn't really looking at root development. It is essentially sterile, isn't it? Did you use some specific fert. regimen in conjunction with DE?

-GG


For me top growth with DE is really no different than when I was using a starter mix, the root development is a whole different story. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I pulled a plant out of the DE to up-pot it.

And yes, once the plants have their first true leaves, they are given half strength liquid fertilizer with every watering.

Many use it to eliminate damping off issues. I use it for the root development, the need to water less frequently, and to eliminate the chance of another fungus gnat infestation that came from using what must have been an old bag of starter mix.

If organic fertilizers are used, the DE can be dried out and baked in the oven to kill anything living in it, then re-used. This year I made the mistake of using some fine DE I had not baked, and I ended up with bad algae growth.
Father'sDaughter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10, 2017   #11
RayR
Tomatovillian™
 
RayR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
Posts: 2,370
Default

Magic bullets? It's more of a combination of things.
Carolyn is right that the medium you sow the seeds in is an important factor to root growth. A medium that allows oxygen to penetrate easily is important to root growth. There's nothing worse than a medium that just drowns roots in water.
I think that is one factor why DE in granular form works well for seedling root growth.
I agree with Father'sDaughter that top growth is a different story. I've worked with straight DE and DE mixes compared to peat based and coco mixes and the top growth is variable. Sometimes top growth is bigger in DE, sometimes not. All seeds of the same variety are not the same, some have more vitality and are more aggressive in producing top growth.

A product like Schultz Starter Plus from what I read on the label contains is just Urea, Ammonium Phosphate, Potassium Nitrate and Iron EDTA at a NPK of 5-10-5 with the addition of 0.02% Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Hydrochloride). OK, it's a bit higher in P which may be important for root growth. The addition of Vitamin B1 which some root enhancers may have as a magic bullet is based more on myth than scientific proof. Plants synthesize Vitamin B1 and it is found in greater concentration in the roots.There's no solid proof that the addition of additional B1 to the medium has any benefit.

DIEHARDTM BioRush also contains "Root Promoting Vitamins" as magic ingredient but I think it's other ingredients may be more valuable. Trichoderma Fungi are known to stimulate root growth as are many other beneficial microbial inhabitants of the rhizosphere.
Mycorrhizal fungi, Trichoderma fungi and PGPR's (Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria) can be had alone or in combination in many commercial inoculants.
They all have functions in overall plant health including root growth that science backs up. The vast number of important root growth promoting chemicals they make are better than any kind of single questionable magic bullet like Vitamin B1.
RayR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2017   #12
imp
Tomatovillian™
 
imp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Texas Tigger Shark on the prowl
Posts: 2,730
Default

I try to remember to use RapidStart by General Hydroponics when I transplant my tomatoes/plants to the garden. I use it at half the recommended dosage and it seems to work well. Normal dose id a teaspoon to 5 gallons of water.
imp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2017   #13
RayR
Tomatovillian™
 
RayR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
Posts: 2,370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by imp View Post
I try to remember to use RapidStart by General Hydroponics when I transplant my tomatoes/plants to the garden. I use it at half the recommended dosage and it seems to work well. Normal dose id a teaspoon to 5 gallons of water.
I've tried Rapidstart from some free samples I got from the local grow shop.
My first impressions were that it did seem to increase root growth but I didn't do any side by side comparisons with controls. It may be particularly useful for folks using strictly mineral salt nutrients. I do most of my gardening with organics so it's hard for me to say whether Rapidstart adds any additional value and worth the expense. Probably not I'm thinking. I think a proper experiment would be to test it with mineral salt nutrients alone.
Rapidstart's ingredients combine a small amount of mineral salts, amino acids and a propriety blend of plant extracts. According to GH, the plant extracts are the key ingredients.

One product that does work to promote root growth is AZOS from Extreme Gardening. Strictly a biological product, AZOS is a bacteria, Azospirillum brasilense which has multiple beneficial effects in the rhizosphere including producing Auxins, plant hormones that stimulate root growth.
There is a number of threads here relating to AZOS, this one contains my results of my first experience and experiment with it.
This is a good blog article on Azospirillum brasilense and what it does. See here
RayR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2017   #14
imp
Tomatovillian™
 
imp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Texas Tigger Shark on the prowl
Posts: 2,730
Default

Haven't been growing in anything but soil so far, so ymmv, just stated what I found to be true for myself.
imp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 12, 2017   #15
RayR
Tomatovillian™
 
RayR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
Posts: 2,370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by imp View Post
Haven't been growing in anything but soil so far, so ymmv, just stated what I found to be true for myself.

Ya, I'm sure anybodies mileage will vary depending on growing style.
Are you growing in-ground or in containers? What fertilizers do you use?
Are you using Rapidstart at only the seedling stage or are you continuing to use it at later stages?
RayR is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:05 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2017 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★