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Author Topic: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?  (Read 1250 times)

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« on: June 21, 2018, 10:36:06 pm »
I'd be very interested to hear about any member's use and results from using either endo- or ecto- (or a mix of the two) mycorrhizal innoculation products for enhanced plant growth.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 10:38:56 pm by arobwk »
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Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2018, 12:31:17 am »
We used mycorrhiza for all the trees, roses and so on that we planted in the winter this year.  The nursery we bought them from was adamant that it's well worth using.  We're still waiting to see if there's any difference between these and our previous plantings without mycorrhiza.
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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2018, 01:38:54 pm »
I was discussing this with a scientist who works on mycorrhiza only yesterday. They suggested that the only convincing benefit for crops is on drought tolerance. That doesn’t mean therearen’t other advantages but they are not proven and may well be crop or even variety specific.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2018, 09:02:56 pm »
Actually, Terry T, my concern about drought is what led me to the possible benefits of mycorrhizal inoculation to bolster any natural inoculation - or lack of.  (Rain-water capture for irrigation is all very well, but only if there is enough intermittent rain to capture - at the moment my irrigation is all off the mains!)
But I'm somewhat bemused by "your" scientist's view on this (although I appreciate the point about crop or variety specifics):  apparently the vast majority of plants have formed some sort of natural association with "beneficial" fungi over millenia in all habitats across the globe so, leaving aside whether mycorrhizal supplements are worth considering or not, the association obviously works for both plants and non-destructive fungi in more ways than one;  not just with regards to finding/exploiting scarce ground water. [Edit:  Assuming UK produced mycorrhiza (mycorrhizae ?) is applied to common indigenous plants, surely there must be a chance that a good bond will ensue !?]

However and whatever, the "drought tolerance" comment was music to my ears!
 
[I'm interested in both endo & ecto mycorrhizal supplements presently - me thinks I would be looking at endo for apples (not sure) and ecto for willow/conifers - althought willow seemingly forms both endo/ecto associations]
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 12:26:37 am by arobwk »

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2018, 09:40:03 pm »
I cannot give you any proof of effectiveness either way. But I went on a horticultural course here in Orkney run by a local qualified horticulturalist and tree planting was mentioned. He told us that one of the reasons trees are so hard to get established here is that there are no mycorrhizal fungi in the soil here to aid in the trees establishment. I thought this was an interesting and plausible piece of information

Black Sheep

  • Joined Sep 2015
  • Briercliffe
    • Monk Hall Farm
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 07:55:46 am »
We used a product called Rootgrow when planting 600 bare rooted hedging plants this winter. Then we had all that snow. Despite the challenge I was surprised how many are growing well - very few have failed. Whether that has been influenced by the Rootgrow or not I can't say as there is no control group. We did also mulch the row with thw used straw from when the sheep etc were in quarantine.

Having never planted them before I don't have a comparison I can draw on as to how fast they are meant to grow, but the pictures show how they are coming on now.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2018, 11:53:32 pm »
Last year all my greens got a pinch of root grow down the planting holes. Things appear to have done well especially when it came to getting the tremendous root systems out . the root balls do seem much bigger than normal and go down a bit deeper too .
They didn't make the Bedford Fill Basket sprouts grow well , save for the roots .

 Each very late in the year baby leek transplant also got the same treatment,  I'm still harvesting last years leeks, only one has tried to flower .. don't know if that is due to the fungi or because they were very late in being planted up .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2018, 10:36:03 pm »
Thanks all for your comments. 
My starter post was to see whether real folk might be able to substantiate the advertisments.  I guess it's a TAS thumbs-up so far, albeit not tested against non-treated plantings.
Product offerings are not exactly cheap, but, given the general thumbs-up, I reckon might give it a go to supplement any naturally occurring mycorrhizae in what were grass meadows for donkey's years and now turned over to growing various tree saplings. (Terry T's post makes me think I shouldn't assume too much about any existing mycorrihizal fungi populations for the new crop.)

Couple of useful finds (me thinks): 

A.  "Rootgrow" FAQ sheet [I couldn't find the web link again so I attach a pdf].  Inter alia, it tells you honestly about when Rootgrow might be a waste of time.
B.  Link to advice on making your own innoculants (endo specific, but surely not beyond the wit of man to work out an ecto solution also): https://rodaleinstitute.org/a-complete-how-to-on-farm-am-fungus-inoculum-production/
Thanks again.




 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 08:58:07 pm by arobwk »

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 02:07:01 pm »
Can you test for yourself - treat half your plants in a random pattern, label and see if you can measure any differences in growth.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 08:32:13 pm »
Can you test for yourself - treat half your plants in a random pattern, label and see if you can measure any differences in growth.

I shall indeed do a test (before doshing out loads of money), but it won't be anywhere near half of saplings - too many!  I've been thinking though and, rather than completely random innoculation as suggested, I might inject down to the root balls on a few chosen, but distant rows (say top of bed 1 and bottom of bed 3 with some 70m between them) and then use the untreated intervening rows as my comparison.  I'm thinking/hoping it will be easier to identify a row by row effect than an individual plant effect.  I shall obviously report back idc.

[As to my previous "bemused" statement:  ignore - I half-missed the very point of my starter post.  The point being whether MF supplements produce noticeable results/are worth bothering with, not whether mycorrhizal associations have benefits!]
[Also:  I don't think my previously posted link to Rodale Institute linked to the correct page.  I've re-pasted the link in that post and I seem to think it takes one to the correct web-page now - maybe!?]
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 09:02:43 pm by arobwk »

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2018, 09:48:09 pm »
Just thinking aloud: reckon I shall plonk for tester purchase of TNC MycorrHydro for drench-dosing & apply a couple of times over a couple of weeks to a couple of rows.

Lingon

  • Joined Feb 2018
  • Uppsala, Sweden
  • The more I see of mankind, the more I prefer dogs.
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2018, 08:17:41 am »
I cannot give you any proof of effectiveness either way. But I went on a horticultural course here in Orkney run by a local qualified horticulturalist and tree planting was mentioned. He told us that one of the reasons trees are so hard to get established here is that there are no mycorrhizal fungi in the soil here to aid in the trees establishment. I thought this was an interesting and plausible piece of information

There are no fungus whatsoever where you live?  ;) Mycorrhiza isn't a thing, it's the symbiotic relationship between a fungus and a plant. The problem is with this relationship is that many fungus is specialized for specific plants, like oak and truffles, so buying a general powder is just money down the drain.

If you have troubles getting trees to establish, go about it from the other way. Find out what fungus is present in your soil in your area, find out what trees they live in symbiosis with, plant thoose trees and ad a little soil from the base of a tree from the same species or that live in symbiosis with the same fungus.

And find out what type of rootsystem the trees that are present have. Do they have deep roots and can reach the groundwater? Or do they have shallow roots so they don,t reach the groundwater if it has salt in it.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2018, 01:17:34 am »
And find out what type of rootsystem the trees that are present have. Do they have deep roots and can reach the groundwater? Or do they have shallow roots so they don't reach the groundwater if it has salt in it.

Hi Lingon.  I'll come back to the quoted extract from your post in a moment, but firstly ...

Not wishing to speak for Clarebelle (who might come along with her own comment), but I would assume the Orkneys do not have as rich a variety of mycorrhizal fungi compared to "mainland" biospheres.   
While accepting your point about reversing the process (i.e. find out what you have and plant accordingly for best results), most folk on the forum will simply be trying to better establish a few plants or diverse annual crops (most of which will likely be found across Europe and not completely alien to the UK):  I'm thinking it would be rather expensive to have a specific mycorrhizal mix (or mixes) made up for small acreages and, also, it probably doesn't matter to most folk if some constituents of a chosen off-the-shelf mycorrhizal product don't contribute anything!

Coming back to quote above:  I'm thinking you are advising that plants with tap roots will not be so dependant on (will not benefit so much from) mycorrhizal associations.  Do I understand that correctly?



 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 01:40:50 am by arobwk »

Lingon

  • Joined Feb 2018
  • Uppsala, Sweden
  • The more I see of mankind, the more I prefer dogs.
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2018, 09:48:29 am »
Not wishing to speak for Clarebelle (who might come along with her own comment), but I would assume the Orkneys do not have as rich a variety of mycorrhizal fungi compared to "mainland" biospheres.   
While accepting your point about reversing the process (i.e. find out what you have and plant accordingly for best results), most folk on the forum will simply be trying to better establish a few plants or diverse annual crops (most of which will likely be found across Europe and not completely alien to the UK):  I'm thinking it would be rather expensive to have a specific mycorrhizal mix (or mixes) made up for small acreages and, also, it probably doesn't matter to most folk if some constituents of a chosen off-the-shelf mycorrhizal product don't contribute anything!

Coming back to quote above:  I'm thinking you are advising that plants with tap roots will not be so dependant on (will not benefit so much from) mycorrhizal associations.  Do I understand that correctly?


No, it's about adapting to the plot you do have. If we are to save this piece of rock, we need to stop trying to squeeze square blocks through round holes. Plants planted in the wrong enviroment, tend to get stressed and is suseptible to both pests and diseases, making the farmer dependent on things like pesticides.
Instead, we need to get to know the land, and study the plants that do work, then try and find other plants with similar needs.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mycorrhizal products - any usage/experience?
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2018, 10:57:53 pm »
Further to recent "Just thinking aloud" post: reason for posting again is my surprise at advantageous price of direct purchase from TNC compared to, say, ebay offerings.  For anyone else considering TNC products (Mycorrhydro in my case), beware - there is some very dodgy pricing from resellers for the various TNC package weights available!

 

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