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  #21  
Old 05-30-2012, 05:23 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/f...corrhizae.html

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/f...ch/morgan.html
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  #22  
Old 05-30-2012, 05:38 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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With the advent of high-sand golf greens questions have arisen about the need for applying microbes during green construction and thereafter. Sand because of its lack of organic matter supports little microbial growth. However, when mixed with peats, composted rice hulls or other organic amendments it gains the microbial populations associated with those materials. Turfgrasses established from vegetative sprigs also bring their root-associated microbes with them! Once the turfgrass begins growing in the rooting medium of the green, microbes already present will colonize roots and the mechanics of soil organic matter formation will commence. A reasonable practice would be to add a small amount of normal pathogen-free soil to the greens mix as an inoculum. Thus far, there is little scientific evidence indicating the need to inoculate golf greens with selected microorganisms. The newly constructed green does afford us the possibility of customizing the soil population to some extent. Once we know what we want in these mixes it may be easier to add them "up front" than to add them into an established population already adapted to the prevailing conditions of a particular soil. As our knowledge of soil microbial biodiversity and the factors that control it increases we may find ways of tailoring microbial populations in given environments. At this point, we are limited in what we can do to this effect.
http://organiclifestyles.tamu.edu/so...robeindex.html


Unfortunately,most home track builders strip way the top soil and sell it. They do not use a soil mix either so there in our area most lawns are set on hard pan clay.
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  #23  
Old 05-30-2012, 08:04 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Originally Posted by Skipster View Post
The article cited by the OP seems to be little more than an opinion piece and has little scientific background. If you're reading something without references following it, its nothign more than one person's opinion -- not scientific fact.

While the OP's article does a good job highlighting some practices that are important in production ag systems, many of those practices are detrimental in turf systems. That is why I hate it when organic fert salesmen tell me how good their stuff is for growign corn and soybeans. I'm growing lawns -- not corn and soybeans! If the salesman can't adjust between the differences in the two cropping systems, he surely doesn't know anything abotu my business.

Anyhow, if you're going to talk about soil "health" and soil microbial interactions, you need to learn from the experts. Please read the article linked here:

http://aggie-turf.tamu.edu/files-200...ticle-2005.pdf

Although the piece talks mostly about sandy soils vs native soils in athletic field management, the last paragraph is especially relevant to this discussion:

"So, do you need to add “beneficial microbes” to the soil to make it function properly? That’s highly unlikely! Many studies of turfgrasses, whether in sports fields, golf courses or home lawns, have shown that soil microbial populations are not compromised by normal management practices. The best thing that you can do to “manage” the soil microbes under your care is to grow a healthy stand of turf and pay close attention to the condition of the soil or root zone supporting it. Paying attention to the agronomics of grass culture, fertilization,aerification, drainage, etc., will insure that the microbial populations are not being adversely affected!"
Thanks for posting the relevant paragragh for review, as I'm heading out the door soon...

I too wonder about the bringing in a microherd to an area, since the microherd that is there already thrives for a reason... I like what the article says about: "The best thing that you can do to “manage” the soil microbes under your care is to grow a healthy stand of turf and pay close attention to the condition of the soil or root zone supporting it."

Looking into the soil and observing the conditions around the roots will tell me more in a minute than all the reading of symptoms in research papers...
The real question is in regards to that paragragh is: What is the best management practice of the tur?f??
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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  #24  
Old 05-30-2012, 09:53 AM
Skipster Skipster is online now
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Essentially, what Dr. Zuberer (and all the scientific literature) shows is that the concept of "building soil health" is unfounded nonsense! All the scientific literature tells us that soil microbial populations are naturally robust, but even inhospitable environments can be made more hospitable by doing what is necessary to grow a healthy turf. I understand the mycorrhizae crowd, but mycorrhizae are already in the soil, so adding more is of little benefit.

It all goes back to the basics of growing plants -- the right nutrients in the right amounts at the right time.

If you can show me any scientific literature that refutes Dr. Zuberer's results and the results of those whom he referenced, please post it here.
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  #25  
Old 05-30-2012, 01:11 PM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Originally Posted by Skipster View Post
Essentially, what Dr. Zuberer (and all the scientific literature) shows is that the concept of "building soil health" is unfounded nonsense! All the scientific literature tells us that soil microbial populations are naturally robust, but even inhospitable environments can be made more hospitable by doing what is necessary to grow a healthy turf. I understand the mycorrhizae crowd, but mycorrhizae are already in the soil, so adding more is of little benefit.

It all goes back to the basics of growing plants -- the right nutrients in the right amounts at the right time.

If you can show me any scientific literature that refutes Dr. Zuberer's results and the results of those whom he referenced, please post it here.
I have seen the response to Mycorrhizae in urban landscapes.
Yes, it is present in abundance in old growth forest. If you have a transplanted tree or trees suffering from drought or damage the Mycor does help.

Again, many of the track homes built around here are in old farm locations and the top soil is completely stripped away. It is a great idea to stock pile it and reuse it but that seldom happens in track home development. So unfortunately we are often stuck with trying to develop subsoils for Turf.
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  #26  
Old 05-30-2012, 04:21 PM
Skipster Skipster is online now
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I entirely understand the challenges of maintaining turf for new home construction. However, as Dr. Zuberer points out, microbial populations in harsh soils (even such unhospitable soils as kiln-dried sands) reach similar numbers after just a couple of weeks of plant growth (grass or otherwise). So, the compacted and nutrient devoid subsoils some of our customers have are NOT deficient in soil microbial populations and adding the things "soil health" advocates tout will NOT improve soil microbial function. This has been backed by numerous scientific studies. If you can find studies that say otherwise, please post them. Similarly, not one single study has shown that added mycorrhizae colonize plants. If any colonization has taken place, only the mycorrhizae that were already in place will colonize plants. Foreign or added mycorrhizae have never been observed to colonize plants when added to non-greenhouse situations.

Often, lawns grown in subsoils will perform better with conventional management, like core aeration and proper fertility.
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  #27  
Old 05-30-2012, 07:37 PM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Originally Posted by Skipster View Post
I entirely understand the challenges of maintaining turf for new home construction. However, as Dr. Zuberer points out, microbial populations in harsh soils (even such unhospitable soils as kiln-dried sands) reach similar numbers after just a couple of weeks of plant growth (grass or otherwise). So, the compacted and nutrient devoid subsoils some of our customers have are NOT deficient in soil microbial populations and adding the things "soil health" advocates tout will NOT improve soil microbial function. This has been backed by numerous scientific studies. If you can find studies that say otherwise, please post them. Similarly, not one single study has shown that added mycorrhizae colonize plants. If any colonization has taken place, only the mycorrhizae that were already in place will colonize plants. Foreign or added mycorrhizae have never been observed to colonize plants when added to non-greenhouse situations.

Often, lawns grown in subsoils will perform better with conventional management, like core aeration and proper fertility.
Really, how would you prove otherwise in the field? Kind of like coughing in the hospital. What has been show is Mycor does not move far in the soil so injection or colonizing the seedling helps a lot to speed up the process. I thought I did post some links.
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  #28  
Old 05-30-2012, 08:39 PM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipster View Post
Essentially, what Dr. Zuberer (and all the scientific literature) shows is that the concept of "building soil health" is unfounded nonsense! All the scientific literature tells us that soil microbial populations are naturally robust, but even inhospitable environments can be made more hospitable by doing what is necessary to grow a healthy turf. I understand the mycorrhizae crowd, but mycorrhizae are already in the soil, so adding more is of little benefit.

It all goes back to the basics of growing plants -- the right nutrients in the right amounts at the right time.

If you can show me any scientific literature that refutes Dr. Zuberer's results and the results of those whom he referenced, please post it here.
Dr. Zuberer's article is very informative and provides some very good advice. I agree with much of it. I do have an issue with his methodology of culturing microbes in the lab as sound evidence of soil microbe populations.

Most organisms in the soil are “viable but not culturable,” meaning that we don’t know how to grow 99% of the species on the planet!
http://www.cfwep.org/education/smsp/...-colonies.html

Beginning in the 1990s, the application of molecular ecological methods, especially those based on surveys of genes after PCR amplification, has allowed cultivation-independent investigations of the microbial communities of soils to be made. The power of these methods has largely rendered obsolete the plate count approach to detecting and enumerating subsets of soil bacteria,
http://aem.asm.org/content/72/3/1719
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  #29  
Old 05-30-2012, 08:51 PM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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Originally Posted by Skipster View Post
The article cited by the OP seems to be little more than an opinion piece and has little scientific background. If you're reading something without references following it, its nothign more than one person's opinion -- not scientific fact.
I think the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service is a credible source with at least some science background. The article is not an opinion piece and was written for the public. Yes it should have cited sources, that doesn't mean they don't exist.

The scientific body of soil microbiology has been growing rapidly in the last 20 years. There is much to learn. What was considered scientific fact in many areas of science 20 years ago has fallen by the wayside.
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  #30  
Old 05-30-2012, 09:27 PM
Skipster Skipster is online now
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phasthound, if many of the microbes are not culturable, then there must necessarily be more in the soil than the millions of species per gram that we can already identify. Thus, adding more microbes or adding sugars or carbon to the soil could only move the needle a microscopic amount. This has been proven in the research. Your links do nothing to disprove this.

Sure, our understanding of soil microbiology can change, but if you read the current 2011 and 2012 literature, you'll find that the conclusions are the same as Zuberer's. You're also overlookign the obvious differences between annual and perennial crops and legume production vs. non-legume production. What works best for crops (as the USDA article was written for) is not always best for lawns. For example, a lawn with as much organic matter as is recommended for wheat production would be thatchy, spongy, and full of moss and disease.

You can keep using microbial snake oils if you like -- I certainly am not here to tel what you can or can't do. Many people fall for the fertilizer parts of those products. They get so excited thinking that the microbes or sugars worked, when in reality, all you're seeing is the N and Fe those products also have. You could have applied N and Fe yourself, and gotten the same results for a much lower price.

Bottom line, all the scientific research for soil microbes in turf (from 1950 to 2012) tells us that soil microbes are ubiquitous in the environment and there is little we can do to negatively influence their populations. The research also tells us that the best thnig we can do for microbial populations is to manage a healthy stand of turf.

Over the last 60 years, no scientific evidence has disproven that. I'm certainly not going to throw my money behind something that 60 years of science says doesn't work.
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