[NAFEX] Subject: Re: Blueberry planting alternatives
Lon J. Rombough
lonrom at hevanet.com
Mon Oct 17 11:20:22 EDT 2005
I have never inoculated my blueberries with mycorrhizal fungi. It
wouldn't have done any good if I had, since the mycorrhizal fungi that
Ericaceous plants need aren't in the commercial mixes sold now. I was
referring to work by forestry people who found that myco fungi colonies
in forest settings were able to create acid zones in otherwise alkaline
mineral soils. It's not a hard stretch to assume that mycorrhizal
fungi associated with blueberries would help create an environment
suited to the host plant, and given that the ability to acidify soil
has already been demonstrated in other myco fungi, why couldn't it
exist in the organisms associated with blueberries?
I was, as you do, advocating the addition of organic matter to
encourage naturally occurring mycorrhizal fungi since most types that
have been studied do better in the presence of humates from organic
matter, and the organic matter in the form of mulch also helps keep
soil moisture levels more constant, which would aid the plants as well.
In short, encouraging and aiding proper microflora with good levels of
organic matter should help compensate for less than ideal pH for
blueberries in many soils.
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at
http://www.bunchgrapes.com Winner of the Garden Writers Association
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
On Oct 17, 2005, at 8:01 AM, Lee Reich wrote:
So I seriously doubt whether mycorrhizae are responsible for your
blueberries apparent tolerance to high pH. Furthermore, it's doubtful
whether your innoculating them had any benefit. I also did some studies
I worked for the USDA on blueberries and mycorrhizae. In my
mycorrhizal innoculum was so ubiquitous that even uninnoculated plants
became mycorrhizal. This may not be true everywhere, but probably is
North America and many other places.
In summary, appreciate mycorrhizae, but don't waste money buying them;
plenty of organic matter to your soil to keep your plants happy; if the
is not in the preferred pH 4-5 range for blueberries, add sulfur.
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