What the heck...?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Harley-D, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    Don't understand this...

    Studies in the early 90's showed that mycorrhizal infection increased phosphorus uptake by the host plant. (turf i suppose)
    Read some other articles that boast twice the root structure when adding VAM. vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizea

    Unfortunately, it's only when the phosphorus levels are at 50ppm or less.(2.5lbs/k) But not much less. No big deal, but they can't be too high either. Anywhere near or over 4lb/k would prohibit VAM from working properly. ???:confused:

    Since this doesn't really matter for cool season grasses, what about you warm season grass guys. Do you watch your P levels when adding (VAM imparticular?)
    Just curious cause the stuff is really expensive.

    Is there that big a difference or just stick to humic and seaweed extracts?
  2. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    Am i wasting time here?
    Thanks. Seems like VAM would be a good investment if you could continually regulate the P levels.
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Harley D, everytime I say something about Mycorrhizia, it usually opens up a big can of worms. There are over 63,000 studies that show that mycor innoculations into the soil will help with plant growth. Mycor does much more than just takeup P. The Hyphen extends may feet from the plant roots, this extention magnifies the space taken up by the plant roots by over a hundred fold. The magnifaction of the root zone aids the plants in water uptake in times of drought as well as other nutrients uptake. The Mycor exchanges this moisture and nutrients to the host plant for the sugars and nutrients it needs to survive. Not all kinds of Mycor will infect grass plants, the kind that is usually associated with grasses is the endo mycorrhizae. Endo mycor moves thru the soil by infecting the roots of the host plant. The plant root must come in contact with the endo mycor in order to become infected. For this reason, endo mycor is best injected into the growing root zone of the plants. There are some studies that show that surface application of the endo mycor can successfully innoculate grass plants. Inorder to do so, mycor that is surface applied should be added to other bulk materials to protect it from the damageing effects of sunlite. The bulk materials should be sufficient so that they fully envelope the mycor spores, vescules and propagules. Common bulk materials are composts and humis.
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Here is a picture of a mycor innoculated cherry tomato plant. This plant was in a pot but the dog kept peeing on it and it was about dead. I pulled the plant out of the pot and discared it where it is now. I had forgottent about the plant until my wife showed it to me yesterday. I dont think anybody would normally plant a tomato in a pile of leaves. The fact that this plant is even alive and bearing is simply because of the myco innoculation it recieved when it was still in the pot. I discarded this plant over a month ago, last week is the first time it has rained in over 5 weeks. When I pulled the plant out of the pot, it has a tremendous root system and is probably what has kept it alive until now.

  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    To touch on the P levels in the soil a little. There is a difference in total P levels and available P levels. In 1953 the Tennessee Valley Authority did some experiments on P availabilty of different P sources. They treated the P with radioactive sustances and them measured the P uptake in plants. The P sources where super phosphate,(10/20/0) Tripple super P(0/46/0) and Diammonium Phosphate (18/46/0). what they found that in the best growing conditions, the P from the 10/20/0 and 0/46/0 was only available for about 8 weeks and only 4 weeks in bad growing conditions. 18/46/0 stayed available even into the next growing season. Also, of all the p that the plants took up, only 10% could be contributed to the applied fertilizers, the remaining 90% can from other sources that where already in the soil. They didnt know it at the time, but the mycorrhizia fungi is how the plants where getting the P that they needed. What happens to the P that is applied to the soil, well, Dr Foxx says that all soils have an appetite for P and until that appetite is filled, the plants are only going to get a limited amount. P being a tripple negitive charged anion is attracted to the positive cation nutrients and becomes attached reverting back to the form of tricalcium phosphate, and unavailable to the plants. Mycorrhizae is what frees up that p and makes it available to the plants. In other words, you can have tons of P in your soils, but it is whats availalbe that is a benefit to the plants, and is also why you can continue to apply P to your lawn every year and still not see any appreciatable difference in available P on your soil test.
  6. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    Really appreciate all the info mudd.

    If you google, Mycorrhiza and soil phosphorus levels, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension will pop up hopefully. This is where i got all my questions from. It does boast mycor and what it can do but it says the benefits are best in p-deficient soils. It says there is a direct corrolation between mycor effectiveness and lower p levels. Increase p and decrease the efficacy of mycor.

    They also state that as p levels increase, there's a reduction in chlamydospore production.

    was just curious, if the results are true, how people deal with taking that chance with an expensive material
  7. dallen

    dallen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Did you happen to catch the History Channel presentation on fertilizer? They interviewed Dr. Mike @ Mycor Applications?
  8. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    Yeah, that was pretty interesting.
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    HarleyD, it took me a little while to find your source, http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/TR...pext.colostate.edu/TRA/PLANTS/mycorrhiza.html

    But if you will read the entire report, the suggested p rates that are found to be harmful to be around 100-140 ppm, thats 200 to 280lbs P per acre. Now there are some soils that will have that much and even higher P rates, but my soils adverage around 9 or 10 ppm or 18-20 lbs per acre. In my case, the soils are not only P deficient, but can benefit from the application of P as well as the Mycor innoculation.

    "In addition, mycorrhizal infection results in an increase in the uptake of copper (Lambert, Baker & Cole, 1979; Gildon & Tinker, 1983), zinc (Lambert, Baker & Cole, 1979), nickel (Killham & Firestone, 1983), and chloride and sulphate (Buwalda, Stribley & Tinker, 1983). Mycorrhizae also are known to reduce problems with pathogens which attack the roots of plants (Gianinazzi-Pearson & Gianinazzi, 1983)."

    As I said, mycor does way more than just takeup P. I suspect the pathogen resistance can be attributed to the uptake of the copper, zinc and sulfate, and maybe the chloride
  10. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    I definitely agree but they state that one of the most dramatic effects of mycor is it's ability to increase p uptake.

    You read the article but without being biased toward the use of it, how do you explain "the addition of p results in a delay in infection as well as a decrease in the percentage of infection of roots by mycor"(deMiranda, Harris & Wild, 1989; Asimi et al.,1989)

    You're right about the amounts though, that's like anything over 4lb of P/k.
    That's insane. But i bet if you were low on P and were doing a seeding with a starter fert, add some mycor about a week later and see what happens. I'm looking forward to trying it on my lawn this fall. Hope it's not a waste of money!!

    thanks mudd.

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