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Re: [AZ] mycorrhizae

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  • Mike Creel
    I ve accumulated a good-sized file of findings and observations regarding local native mycorrhizae. What I glean from it is that these soil bacteria form and
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 15, 2004
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      I've accumulated a good-sized file of findings and
      observations regarding local native mycorrhizae. What
      I glean from it is that these soil bacteria form and
      thrive in the presence of natural, local conditions
      without manmade improvements such as overwatering
      (which interferes with normal drainage), commercial
      fertilizer, chemical commercial pesticides, commercial
      fungicides and so on.
      Many mycorrhizae, such as those in my local xeric
      sandhills thrive in severe conditions of drought and
      heat, making the most of any and all water and
      available nutrients they have access to. It is my
      understanding that azaleas do not form root hairs like
      many plants do and that mycorrhizal threads provide
      that link to soil nutrients and enable the plant to
      tolerate local impacts of cold, drought and heat.
      My oldest native azalea plants, most of which cannot
      spell 5-10-10 have the appearance of plants that
      someone has socked the fertlizer too. It is my
      opinion that plants grown with close to natural
      conditions will become better established and endure
      hardships better than ones watered with a timer,
      sprayed on a schedule and fertilized with a scoop.
      --- Barry Sperling <barrysperling@...>
      wrote:
      > Hi,
      > Two quotes on this subject perked up my
      > antennae:
      >
      > E. White Smith said:
      > "If you fertilize you do not need them anyway. "
      >
      > Does this mean that mychorrhizae provides N, P
      > and K?
      >
      > And Mike Creel said:
      >
      > I always collect rotted humus from the base of
      > several mature azaleas
      > that have grown without supplemental fertilizer,
      > pesticides, fungicides or watering, since those can
      > kill native mycorrhizae.
      >
      > What is it in water that kills it so that plants
      > that have been
      > watered don't have mychorrhizae?
      >
      > Barry
      >
      >
      >
      >


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    • Joe Schild
      On this subject, let me offer my two-bits. 1. There is ample study at various university labs to indicate the presence of specific mycorrhiza in soil will
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 16, 2004
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        On this subject, let me offer my two-bits.
        1. There is ample study at various university labs to indicate the presence
        of specific mycorrhiza in soil will benefit the growth of members of the
        family Ericace, including Rhododendron and azaleas. This beneficial
        relationship between host plant and fungi has long been recognized and Lee's
        The Azalea Book and Galle's Azaleas go into a little detail about it.
        2. Classification of mycorrhiza is just beginning to be understood and more
        research is needed. But, with that said, the green industry, (nurseries) are
        seeing the benefit of using mycorrhiza in their operations by adding
        commercial generated fungi to the planting mix of field grown nursery stock.
        Some of the commercial products are type specific to the host plant, tree or
        shrub.
        3. Mycorrhiza fungi do not supply N-P-K in them selves, but transport both
        nutrients and moisture to the fibrous root cells of azaleas from the soil.
        4. For mycorrhiza to thrive and benefit azaleas, several conditions must
        prevail. There must be a well drained soil with ample soil pores to allow
        the presence of Oxygen (air). If the soil is too wet, the beneficial
        mycorrhiza will die. If over chemigation is present, (too much fertilizer or
        other chemicals used) the mycorrhiza will be killed off. It is a very
        delicate and elegant balance.
        5. Most of us who have composted, know the benefit of fungi to break down
        the materials in our compost piles. We also have learned that applying a few
        scoops of old compost to a new pile, inoculates it with ample fungi to start
        the process over again. I can tell you several horror stories about using
        chemicals (Ammonium Nitrate) to speed up that process and the resulting
        arrival of the fire department. If anything must be added to speed up the
        process, use blood meal.
        6. If inoculation works on compost, it will work on azaleas, though we are
        talking about a different set of fungi.
        7. Mike has generously shared his findings after many years of study and
        experience. His experience is more than just antidotal, for his goes to
        great length to keep proper records as any researcher must do. His success
        takes his work beyond the hypothetical into the heady realm of reality and
        the pratical.

        Well, I guess that's more than two-bits worth, so sue me

        Joe Schild Hixson, TN USDA Zone 7a
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Mike Creel" <mikeacreel@...>
        To: <azaleas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 9:33 PM
        Subject: Re: [AZ] mycorrhizae


        > I've accumulated a good-sized file of findings and
        > observations regarding local native mycorrhizae. What
        > I glean from it is that these soil bacteria form and
        > thrive in the presence of natural, local conditions
        > without manmade improvements such as overwatering
        > (which interferes with normal drainage), commercial
        > fertilizer, chemical commercial pesticides, commercial
        > fungicides and so on.
        > Many mycorrhizae, such as those in my local xeric
        > sandhills thrive in severe conditions of drought and
        > heat, making the most of any and all water and
        > available nutrients they have access to. It is my
        > understanding that azaleas do not form root hairs like
        > many plants do and that mycorrhizal threads provide
        > that link to soil nutrients and enable the plant to
        > tolerate local impacts of cold, drought and heat.
        > My oldest native azalea plants, most of which cannot
        > spell 5-10-10 have the appearance of plants that
        > someone has socked the fertlizer too. It is my
        > opinion that plants grown with close to natural
        > conditions will become better established and endure
        > hardships better than ones watered with a timer,
        > sprayed on a schedule and fertilized with a scoop.
        > --- Barry Sperling <barrysperling@...>
        > wrote:
        > > Hi,
        > > Two quotes on this subject perked up my
        > > antennae:
        > >
        > > E. White Smith said:
        > > "If you fertilize you do not need them anyway. "
        > >
        > > Does this mean that mychorrhizae provides N, P
        > > and K?
        > >
        > > And Mike Creel said:
        > >
        > > I always collect rotted humus from the base of
        > > several mature azaleas
        > > that have grown without supplemental fertilizer,
        > > pesticides, fungicides or watering, since those can
        > > kill native mycorrhizae.
        > >
        > > What is it in water that kills it so that plants
        > > that have been
        > > watered don't have mychorrhizae?
        > >
        > > Barry
      • Joe Schild
        All, *I would caution anyone shipping soil out of their gardens, for that is often the means of accidentally transporting pests and disease. In fact, anyone
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 23, 2004
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          All,
          *I would caution anyone shipping soil out of their gardens, for that is
          often the means of accidentally transporting pests and disease. In fact,
          anyone moving soil from a Imported Fire Ant Quarantine area to another free
          of the pest, is in federal violation and may be fined, imprisoned or both.*
          All of the plants in the plant sale at the 2003 convention were inspected
          and treated for that pest and certified by my plant inspector before any
          could be sold or given away.

          If you have deciduous or evergreen azaleas growing in your gardens for any
          length of time and they are thriving, take some soil from below them, for
          the Ericaceae specific mycorrhizae should be present. One could, I guess,
          inoculate a compost heap that has finished doing its thing and after a time,
          use that material to inoculate the planting mix for new introductions to the
          garden. Just do not let the compost go into a new heat cycle or that may
          kill off the beneficial mycorrhizae.

          From my own experience, compost is the elixir of the 'gods' and will provide
          a basis for rapid establishment of new plants. It is normally a natural
          component of the soil mix and has many stored nutrients azaleas need.


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Judy Karpen" <azaleas@...>
          To: <azaleas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 1:08 PM
          Subject: [AZ] mycorrhizae


          > I've checked into this a bit. There are several commercial sources for
          > mycorrhizae but none contain the right kind (ericoid) for Ericaceae.
          > Most contain some mix of endo- and ecto- mycorrhizae, suitable for
          > vegetable crops, fruit trees, and non-ericaceous shrubs. Perhaps the
          > azalea and rhodie growers could exert some pressure on the current
          > mycorrhizal sellers to grow and market the ericoid types; I doubt the
          > home garden market is big enough to catch their attention.
          >
          > I think we should get Mike Creel to send all of us some of his "magic
          > dust" -- the wonderful soil under his native azaleas obviously contains
          > the right mycorrhizae! ;^>
          >
          >
          > Judy Karpen
          > azaleas@comcast:net (replace colon by dot)
          > Zone 7
          >
          > "You're not stretching yourself as a gardener if you're not killing
          > plants." --- J.C. Raulston
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