Myccorrizae for seed.

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    In my research on myccorrizae this is the one research article about it. Very clear and consice, easy to understand and no wild sales claims.

    It appears that innoculated seed starts off much better than not, however the VAM fungus seems to be everywhere and will shortly infect the turf once it is mature enough to serve as a host for them.
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    That is a very old article but still good. It is no longer called VAM, just Arbuscular Mycorrhizae
    Arbuscular Mycorrhizae is in almost every soil but it is a true symbiont and can not survive without a root nearby. I have heard different claims on how long they can live without a plant root, some say 4 to 5 months. What I have not been able to track down is can the spore last for long periods of time (years) without a root.

    Its ability to interact with the plant and fight off pathogens, increase root mass, increase drought resistance, supply additional micro nutrients is well documented. We use quite a bit of mycorrhizae in our product, there are something like 12 million per gram.

    What I find interesting is its ability to make phosphorous available to the plant in low phosporous soils. Its ability to make soil nutrients plant available is also well documented. They are not a one size fits all fungi though. Some work with one plant and not another, they are still there on the root but do not appear to be plant growth promoting

    It is one amazing little fungus
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    If you able to mix mycorrhizae and soil bacteria together in compost teas it makes it an exceptional inoculum for seeds. The fungi stick with the seed as it sprouts and stays with the root for plants entire life, knocking back pathogens and extend the rhizosphere of the plant.
    If you can spray an inoculum like this just after germination you'll have one kick butt lawn. ahhhemm.... as long as you don't spray fungicides.

    The most nutrient rich place in the soil is at the end of a root.

    As a foliar spray they do not do much good, sticking to the leaf I believe they would just die off
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Yes it was a very old article and I like that, in the sense a simple experiment with 200 samples gives a very clear picture of the possibilities. The beating 'Take-All-Patch' in low P soils by the A-M fungi, but then losing to the disease in a high P soil was a bonus bit of knowledge.

    Since I am just now learning the basics of this particular fungus I remember that fungi as a rule will sporoform and survive long periods in that way. In your opinion what is a good number on the soil test for NPK when you plan to innoculate with a compost tea as described above?

    I haven't checked the urls that Kiril posted yet, but perhaps it would tell me the best growing environment for Arbusculars. Or does it really matter much? One article talked about the fungus bringing P off of mineral rocks and sand.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Did you say "just"? :)
    What is the new abbreviation?
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Some call them arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), I call them myco or mycorrhizae when writing.

    Here are a couple of sentences from a paper I have:
    Enhanced uptake of P is generally regarded as the most important benefit that AMF provide to their host plant, and plant P status is often the main controlling factor in the plant–fungal relationship (Thompson, 1987; Smith and Read, 1997; Graham, 2000). AMF can play a significant role in crop P nutrition, increasing total uptake and in some cases P use efficiency (Koide et al., 2000). This may be associated with increased growth and yield (Vosatka, 1995; Ibibijen et al., 1996; Koide et al., 2000). Where colonisation by AMF is disrupted, uptake of P, growth and in some cases yield can be significantly reduced (Thompson, 1987, 1991, 1994). However, there are examples where crops fail to respond to colonisation by native AMF, e.g. Ryan et al. (2002). In many cases, this is due to a high concentration of (phyto) available soil P (Bethlenfalvay and Barea, 1994; Hetrick et al., 1996; 18 P. Gosling et al. / Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 113 (2006) 17–35 Thingstrup et al., 1998; Sorensen et al., 2005). Under such conditions, the colonisation of roots by AMF is often suppressed (Jensen and Jakobsen, 1980; Al-Karaki and Clark, 1999; Kahiluoto et al., 2001).

    Even the same species taken from different environments, old growth forest and newly planted forests have completely different observable differences. One promotes growth and the other does not in same species of tree.
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I am not sure I understand your qustion about NPK testing and applying compost tea, could you expand it please.

    Fungi in general are very difficult to grow out in compost teas, it is something you have to "get good at" in other words it take some experience in doing teas to get the knack. You will almost never find mycorrhizae (AMF) in compost teas unless you are putting roots into the mix. AMF is root associate so it won't be in the compost pile. The only way to get AMF is to grow a plant in soil and take the roots after it grows and literally pick the AMF off of the root. you can buy some and add it into the mix towards the end if you want.

    Why would you want AMF in a compost tea? hydroseeding, overseeding and directly after core aeration are excellent applications for it. They are a proven plant growth promoters.

    As a general tea to spray on the garden and lawn AMF is not going to do help much. There are no roots on top of the soil so they can't associate, if its sprayed on the leaf as a folilar it will just die off the next time the sun shines on it.
  9. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 504

    Actually, you can't really grow fungi in your AACT, mostly because of the time element. You need to activate your compost a week prior to making your tea. I have used baby oatmeal mixed in with some Alaska Humus or home made compost, wet it down and let it sit for a week out of sunlight, say in a paper bag so it can breath. After a week's time, you should see fungi growing in you compost or Alaska humus.


    Now you are ready to make your AACT that will have a good fungal component.

  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Where I was going with that was, if high P causes AMF to lose the battle with disease fungi and now in your last post where high available P seems to curb colonization; my question is basically what would be high P in a soil test result?
    What would be the normal P in regards to AMF? and how low can the numbers be and a plant still remain healthy?

    The reason I am curious about numbers is because the numbers are what fertilizer is going to be added according to. I have gained control of the fertilization of several lakefront properties and would rather not apply anymore P if I have a healthy AMF population.

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