[NAFEX] Fwd: Tip for Greenhouse Growers: Add Silicon
dtv at mwt.net
Wed May 2 09:50:02 EDT 2007
Anyone know of an organic source of silicon? I know biodynamic
gardeners use equisetum for a source of silicon. Anything else?
Begin forwarded message:
> From: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>
> Date: May 2, 2007 6:29:54 AM CDT
> To: ARS News subscriber <memexikon at mwt.net>
> Subject: Tip for Greenhouse Growers: Add Silicon
> Reply-To: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>
> STORY LEAD:
> Tip for Greenhouse Growers: Add Silicon
> ARS News Service
> Agricultural Research Service, USDA
> Don Comis, (301) 504-1625, donald.comis at ars.usda.gov
> May 2, 2007
> --View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at
> Modern greenhouse production methods have often eliminated
> conventional earth as a growth medium and, with that, eliminated
> silicon, a mineral naturally found in soil.
> Greenhouse growers might do well to add silicon back in their
> nutrient applications, irrigation or potting mixes, according to
> Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. That's because a
> growing body of research suggests that silicon boosts yields and
> protects plants from toxicity and fungal diseases. This means
> silicon may reduce the need for plant growth regulators and disease-
> control pesticides.
> Over the past three years, horticulturist Jonathan Frantz and plant
> pathologist Jim Locke with the ARS Greenhouse Production Research
> Group in Toledo, Ohio--along with other ARS and University of
> Toledo colleagues--have studied silicon uptake in a variety of
> ornamentals, including begonia, carnation, geranium, impatiens,
> marigold, orchid, pansy, petunia, snapdragon, verbena and zinnia.
> X-ray analysis has shown that some of these plants--such as New
> Guinea impatiens, marigold and zinnia--accumulate silicon in
> significant concentrations in unique cells in their leaves. The
> researchers want to see which crops put nutrients where they are
> most useful to the plant.
> The scientists also tested some of these plants to see if silicon
> imparts resistance to two widespread pathogenic fungi, gray mold
> and powdery mildew. They found that it helps reduce symptoms of
> powdery mildew in zinnia but has no effect on species such as
> begonia and geranium, which do not accumulate silicon.
> The scientists will continue to use similar tests to see if silicon
> accumulates in the leaves of other ornamental crops and test those
> crops for silicon-induced resistance to insect pests.
> Such knowledge about plants' silicon use will help breeders choose
> promising lines for creating new varieties of flowers and
> ornamental plants that will need fewer pesticide applications.
> Read more about the research in the May/June 2007 issue of
> Agricultural Research magazine, available online at:
> ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific
> research agency.
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