[NAFEX] Fwd: Tip for Greenhouse Growers: Add Silicon

mIEKAL aND 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>
> 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  
> www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr
> ___________________________________________
> 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:
> http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/may07/plants0507.htm
> ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific  
> research agency.
> ___________________________________________
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> __________________________________________
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