[nafex] Zone 3 mycorrhizal fungi test

Thomas Olenio tolenio at sentex.net
Thu Dec 6 08:24:09 EST 2001


Hi,

What did the supplier have to say about your results?  What types of
fertilizer did you use?

It may be worth while to send some soil samples to them to find out if
the mycorrhizal fungi are in the soil.

If nothing else you may get a free soil analysis. (smile)

I can see some plants being more sensitive to mycorrhizal fungi, as I have
an amaryllis that I inoculated this season, and it did have a dramatic
effect on the root system and drought tolerance.  Having to unpot this
bulb every season I am use to what the root system usually looks like.

Usually we stop watering the bulb in late September so we can put it in
cold storage prior to the next blooming (rest period).  It usually has
returned it's energy from the leaves to the bulb by late October.  The
leaves yellow, they are removed and the bulb is unpotted and put into cold
storage.

Now that the bulb is inoculated, although we stopped watering in September
it did not die back (which is just weird).  I finally cut off the
green leaves this week and put it to bed.  The root system was much larger
than ususal and the roots themselves were very thick compared to what they
usually looked like.

Since amaryllis is a bulb (like leeks) possibly they are more sensitive to
mycorrhizal fungi.

I also used it tomatoes and we did see increased drought tolerance.  I
would not recommend the use of mycorrhizal fungi on Roma tomatoes though.
Standard tomatoes faired well through the drought, but Roma suffered
terrible blossom end rot.  I think is is due to the shape of Roma
tomatoes (guess).

Mycorrhizal fungi is also killed off by the use of manmade fertilizer and
some pesticide/fungicides.

Just some ideas.

I would ask the supplier about soil tests and why the mycorrhizal fungi
failed for you.  They would want to know just as much as you.

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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