[nafex] Zone 3 mycorrhizal fungi test

Thomas Olenio tolenio at sentex.net
Thu Dec 6 07:58:06 EST 2001


Hi,

Possibly it is due to your zone (guess).  The mycorrhizal fungi do take
some sugars from the plant, and possibly you are borderline enough that
the trees missed what they lost.

In regards to the tomatoes...  How close together were the
inoculated plants to the non-inoculated?  Mycorrhizal fungi can spread up
to 9' in a season, and tomatoes in a standard row would have overlapping
roots.  If the plants were close enough to have overlapping roots the
entire row would have been inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi.

I will see if there is any research on mycorrhizal fungi in colder zones
and let you know.

Later,
Tom

 --


On Thu, 6 Dec 2001, Bernie Nikolai wrote:

> Two years ago I got about a one pound sample of mycorrhizal fungus, a
> grey
> looking powder, from one of the main manufacturers and proponents of it
> (I
> don't remember the name of the company off hand, but it was one of the
> major
> ones who distribute the fungus).  I wanted to give it a fair test on both
> apple trees and tomato plants.  I carefully dusted the roots of about 6
> apple tree whips I was planting as well as every second tomato plant in a
> row of about a dozen.  I made sure to dust the roots directly with the
> powder.
>
> While I was expecting good results, to my surprise, the plants treated
> with
> the fungus did more poorly than the non treated plants.  The non treated
> tomatoes were larger, healthier looking, and had more tomatoes.  On the
> apple trees, the treated plants seemed to grow more slowly, and with only
> a
> fraction of the growth over the summer of the non treated trees.  This
> was
> the complete opposite of what I had expected!
>
> I was very surprised at the results, but "I calls em as I sees em".
> Proponents of the fungus will obviously think I got "a bad batch", which
> may
> be the case.  However, from what I saw in my experiments, the fungus is
> actually detrimental and slows down growth.  This last summer was the
> second
> year, and while the tomatoes were obviously gone, the apple trees still
> did
> not show any better than average vigor, and I'd say they only grew about
> half of what the non-treated trees grew.  I had heard the full results
> are
> not to be seen on trees until the second year, so I believe I gave it a
> fair
> chance.  So unless I got a "bad batch", I'd say "pass on the fungus".  If
> I
> did get a "bad batch", I'm still alarmed.  What if I had dusted several
> hundred trees in a new orchard?  I'm sure others have had better results,
> but I wanted to share my results as well.
>
> Bernie Nikolai
> Edmonton, Alberta
>
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