• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Jay Angler
  • Tereza Okava

Can you introduce mycorrhizal fungi via compost tea?

 
Posts: 76
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've seen a few companies offering mycorrhizal dominated compost claiming that you can introduce the mycorrhizal fungi via actively aerated compost tea. Basic compost tea recipe but with their compost.

Brew 24 hours, dilute 4-1 and apply to the soil. Thoughts? Will this work?

Joe
 
pollinator
Posts: 2865
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
259
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you have a huge chunk of fungi mycelium and you puree it in some water aka compost tea. Then yes you would be able to inoculate an area with it.

With that said, compost is normally dominated by bacteria due to the fact that the amount of fungi existing after a 24hr brew will not increase by alot.
Bacteria however on the other hand will increase exponentially, perhaps doubling every three hour.
 
gardener
Posts: 2953
250
forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is definitely fungal based compost tea and bacterially based. SOme diseases are fungal in nature and need to be combatted by aerobically activated fungal compost tea. The rust on my quinces and serviceberries, for example. To make mycorrhizal fungal tea, you'd have to get mycorrhizae. Often it is specific to one species, so spraying it generally around the yard doesn't seem to make sense. I don't really understand what you would do with it. The idea of mycorrhizae is you need to connect the spores with the roots of the plants that specifically feed off of it. A better approach is the one that John Polk or the other John (there are many of us) talks about: take some of the dirt from under a successful and large plant of that species and mix it with the roots of the plant you want to help.
John S
PDX OR
 
Posts: 264
Location: Eastern Canada, Zone 5a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joe Camarena wrote:I've seen a few companies offering mycorrhizal dominated compost claiming that you can introduce the mycorrhizal fungi via actively aerated compost tea. Basic compost tea recipe but with their compost.

Brew 24 hours, dilute 4-1 and apply to the soil. Thoughts? Will this work?

Joe




Seems a pretty complicated way to introduce mycorrhizal fungi. Far better to add directly to the soil.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3533
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
61
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Haych wrote:

Joe Camarena wrote:I've seen a few companies offering mycorrhizal dominated compost claiming that you can introduce the mycorrhizal fungi via actively aerated compost tea. Basic compost tea recipe but with their compost.

Brew 24 hours, dilute 4-1 and apply to the soil. Thoughts? Will this work?

Joe




Seems a pretty complicated way to introduce mycorrhizal fungi. Far better to add directly to the soil.



That's MARKETING!

It does work, sort of, and is the most efficient way for a big monocrop or pasture (large area consistent polyculture) but not the right answer for a backyard.
 
Mike Haych
Posts: 264
Location: Eastern Canada, Zone 5a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

R Scott wrote:It does work, sort of, and is the most efficient way for a big monocrop or pasture (large area consistent polyculture) but not the right answer for a backyard.



If it's a big monocrop, it's likely to be tilled. Tilling will destroy the mycorrhizal fungi.
 
Joe Camarena
Posts: 76
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gleaning from the various responses I am thinking that simply side dressing with the fungal based compost would be the best way to get the mycorrhizal fungi into the soil.

Just to clarify, this is a compost created from a cold process. Wood chips are piled 6"+, inoculated with fungi, leaves are added a couple inches thick and then it is left to slow compost over the period of a couple years.

Joe
 
gardener
Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
42
dog forest garden books urban chicken bike
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have introduced mycorrhizal fungi into my soils by using compost tea and it was not as difficult as you might think, if you are already making compost tea.

If you are using worm castings as a base for the tea and you make sure to inoculate the worm bin, then you actually can speed up the process of inoculation by using the tea method. Here is why: during the tea brewing process the fungi spores sprout and grow very rapidly into a web shape, which allow bacterial populations to expand. The trick is to put the tea into the soil during this period before bacterial populations explode and start consuming the fungi. I have done this and found a web of white fungi throughout the top soil layer shortly after.

If you don't make tea already then doing a dry inoculation with some soil is quick and easy, but if you already have a tea brewer then it's just as easy to inoculate your compost and pour a solution of live and growing fungi hyphae into your soil or onto your plants.

There is absolutely no reason I can see to ever buy commercial compost to get fungi spores, when they are so available for free.
 
Mike Haych
Posts: 264
Location: Eastern Canada, Zone 5a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Zach Muller wrote:There is absolutely no reason I can see to ever buy commercial compost to get fungi spores, when they are so available for free.




You won't get mycorrhizal fungi in commercial compost, or any compost for that matter, if it's a hot compost. Where are you getting your inoculant from? Not worm castings. Worms don't produce mycorrhizal fungi. I'm not sure what you're seeing in your tea but it's not mycorrhizal fungi. You need a strong microscope to see MF and the knowledge to know what you are seeing.
 
Mike Haych
Posts: 264
Location: Eastern Canada, Zone 5a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joe Camarena wrote:Gleaning from the various responses I am thinking that simply side dressing with the fungal based compost would be the best way to get the mycorrhizal fungi into the soil.

Just to clarify, this is a compost created from a cold process. Wood chips are piled 6"+, inoculated with fungi, leaves are added a couple inches thick and then it is left to slow compost over the period of a couple years.

Joe



Yep, Nature at work. If you google ramial wood chips or "bois raméal fragmenté", you will get good info on what you are proposing. Michael Phillips calls this building fungal duff. Jean Pain did it on a large scale.
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
42
dog forest garden books urban chicken bike
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Haych wrote:
You won't get mycorrhizal fungi in commercial compost, or any compost for that matter, if it's a hot compost. Where are you getting your inoculant from? Not worm castings. Worms don't produce mycorrhizal fungi. I'm not sure what you're seeing in your tea but it's not mycorrhizal fungi. You need a strong microscope to see MF and the knowledge to know what you are seeing.




Mike I was referring to the commercial compost referenced by the op, he mentioned a compost that claimed to have the fungi.

As I mentioned in my post, i inoculate the worm bin with the fungi and other micro organisms. Worms produce poop not mushrooms! To get the spores I use freely found established soils, and shredded up mushrooms. Since the worm bin is not a hot compost it is a great place for the fungi to be. The tea brewing process is really only to multiply what is already present in the finished worm compost.

I admit I am not a pro at identifying different types of fungi spores under a microscope, but I do have a strong microscope and years of experience using it. Along with a lot of personal research on soil biology.
The evidence I base my words on are
1. I inoculated the worm bin with various soils and mushrooms (soils which I visibly observed what I thought were strands of mycorrhizal fungi)
2. I used the microscope to observe spores that would sprout and grow out over the brew time of the tea.
3. I observed similar fungi strands in my forest garden in soil where I had poured the compost tea. (Soil that previously had no strands in it)


Again, I use compost tea to multiply what I already have, if I had a dump truck full of beautiful worm castings then I would just side dress the plants and use the compost as a mulch. Since it is not feasible to produce that much compost in my small system I use tea brewing to take the cup of castings I can create and cover a lot more soil with it.




 
Mike Haych
Posts: 264
Location: Eastern Canada, Zone 5a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Zach Muller wrote:

Mike Haych wrote:

1. I inoculated the worm bin with various soils and mushrooms (soils which I visibly observed what I thought were strands of mycorrhizal fungi)



Yes, the fungal spores produce microscopic fungal hyphae. They combine to create fungal mycelia which are visible to the human eye. Some good sites: http://mycorrhizas.info/index.html and https://web.archive.org/web/20120425204553/http://www.world-of-fungi.org/. Also http://bookzz.org/book/2322271/d9baa0




 
Posts: 76
Location: Illinois, zone 6b
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Adding MF to soil blocks at the same time as starting seed works! You can see the hyphae.
 
Joe Camarena
Posts: 76
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Zach Muller wrote:I have introduced mycorrhizal fungi into my soils by using compost tea and it was not as difficult as you might think, if you are already making compost tea.

If you are using worm castings as a base for the tea and you make sure to inoculate the worm bin, then you actually can speed up the process of inoculation by using the tea method. Here is why: during the tea brewing process the fungi spores sprout and grow very rapidly into a web shape, which allow bacterial populations to expand. The trick is to put the tea into the soil during this period before bacterial populations explode and start consuming the fungi. I have done this and found a web of white fungi throughout the top soil layer shortly after.

If you don't make tea already then doing a dry inoculation with some soil is quick and easy, but if you already have a tea brewer then it's just as easy to inoculate your compost and pour a solution of live and growing fungi hyphae into your soil or onto your plants.

There is absolutely no reason I can see to ever buy commercial compost to get fungi spores, when they are so available for free.



What recipe do you recommend for brewing a MF compost tea? How long do you aerate it before using? Any tips or advice welcome.

Joe
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 787
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
42
dog forest garden books urban chicken bike
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joe Camarena wrote:[]

What recipe do you recommend for brewing a MF compost tea? How long do you aerate it before using? Any tips or advice welcome.

Joe



Hey joe there are about a bazillion recipes to be had out there, I actually keep it as basic and simple as can be.
I will attempt an explanation without being confusing, since it depends a lot on your brewer and O2 levels
My recipe was developed from microbemans which is this.

MICROBEMAN recipe



compost or vermicompost (EWC) 24ml/L
molasses 5ml/L
kelp meal 2.5ml/L (max)
fish hydrolysate .66ml/L

make sure you have at least .04 cfm/gal. best harvest time 36-44 hours.



I personally have not used fish hydrolysate or kelp meal since they are not readily available to me. Although most people agree that molasses is a great feed for bacteria and the kelp meal and fish hydro are more feeding the fungal growth, I have found that using just molasses can still foster a balanced brew, it is just a matter of not overloading with feed and keeping an eye on the brew to see what is going on. You may have to adjust your feedstock level based on your Brewers efficiency. While you may have .04 cfm/gal in the brewer, I have found my own brewer is not as efficient as microbe mans and therefore I reduced my input levels to maintain a high enough dissolved oxygen. But my level maintains the ratio of molasses to vc, just scales it back per liter.

I know a lot of people are 'preactivating' their ingredients To lessen brew times and While looking around I found an interesting sounding recipe for an ultra fungal brew using a pre-activation technique.


To 5 cups of fresh worm casts, (pic 1) I added 10 tbsp. of oat flour (pic2) you can also use oat bran/soybean meal or powdered malt, and 2 tbsp of glacial rock dust (pic3). I mixed these ingredients together while dry until fully mixed. I then added enough water to be able to clump this mixture into a ball with a small amount of water runoff when squeezed.

Next, i put this mixture in a warm place on my seedling heat mat that keeps the mixture at about 80` F. After about 3-4 days, the mixture has a layer of mycelium fuzz growing all over it. (pic 4) The mixture will shrink away from the sides of the container and be firm, much like a drying clump of mud.

I'll then put the mixture into a paint filter bag that hangs in the middle of my 7 gallon tea brewer. You can use a nylon also. You want the filter to contain the compost mixture, but allow the fungal hyphae to pass through the sieve without damaging the strands.

Into the brewer, I'll add about 5-6 gallons of my well water. If your water is chlorinated, you need to let it sit out for 1-2 days to off gas the chlorine. Lake, river or pond water is a bonus if available.

To this water, I'll add a couple of shot glasses full of liquid fish hydrolysate, 3 tbsp of liquid kelp (ascophyllum nodosum) and 2 tsp of a liquid humic/fulvic acid(see pic 5) molasses, and thats it.

I'll only add 1 tbsp of molasses to this brew. Molasses is a good food source for microbes, but bacterial microbes seem to like it more, and the other foods I put in are more fungi friendly( fish hydrolysate/kelp/humic acid). You can also add kelp meal and/or powdered rock phosphate.



I actually may try a variation of this since it sounds cool.
 
John Suavecito
gardener
Posts: 2953
250
forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paint filter bag = good. It will let the fungal hyphae pass through. Nylons aren't a good idea. If the netting is too fine, the hyphae stay in the netting. It wouldn't kill the rust on my quince and serviceberries, so it's just brown water. You trap the fungi in the nylons. Socks are much worse.

One thing I've done many times after being told is to grind up oatmeal into flour, let it soak in chlorine and chloramine free water for several days and let the fungi grow. This will really get your numbers up in the microscope, I've been told.
JohN S
PDXOR
 
Posts: 64
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mycorrhizal fungi rarely survive without their host species.

While it is possible to add mycorrhizal spores to a compost tea, they need to be put into close contact with the tree's root system to begin growing and create the symbiosis. It is then, perhaps, best to ensure that any transplanting of mycelial mass (which can probably contain more than one species, so be aware- as well as considerate of the origin of this mass' health) or inoculation with spores be done with this in mind. Putting mycorrhizal fungi spores onto the leaves/branches of a plant makes it much more difficult for those spores to reach the soil and the plant's roots. Many will probably die before they get to the soil.

Hard evidence of the presence of mycorrhizal fungi in your garden soil may be hard to come by, depending on the type of plant and its associate mychorrhizal fungi species.

I do not know of any endomycorrhizal fungi species that produce a mushroom. Instead, they release their spores underground. This group of fungi (of which there are many) associate with most plants including the majority of our favorite herbs, vegetables, and some shrubs and trees. If a compost pile or system is put into a garden setting and left to sit for at least a couple of years (endomycorrhizal fungi are usually slow growing), it is possible- though not guaranteed- that they will colonize the pile.

Ectomycorrhizal fungi, on the other hand, usually produce some kind of fruiting body- be it a mushroom or puffball. However, not every mushroom or puffball is of an ectomycorrhizal fungi species. These are probably the one group of mycorrhizal fungi with the most potential to reach a compost pile. Even then, they will more than likely not begin growing until they are in close proximity to a host species' root system. So if you have a pile of wood chips that has been colonized by fungi, they are, with a high level of certainty, not mycorrhizal; unless the pile of wood chips is a few years old and is close enough to an ectomycorrhizal fungi associated plant species. Again, spores of ectomycorrhizal fungi could blow in on the wind- and they do!- but unless a host plant is nearby, they more than likely not begin growing.

Mycorrhizae are wonderful and exciting. They can also be propagated in your garden. However, care should be taken not to conflate mycorrhizae and fungi. The terms aren't interchangeable. Putting spores of any mycorrhizal fungi into a compost tea and brewing it will simply not generate more mycorrhizal fungi.

Edit: I left a longer message in an older thread regarding commercial inoculants that may be useful:
https://permies.com/t/28298/fungi/Mycorrhizal-Products#304022
 
John Suavecito
gardener
Posts: 2953
250
forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree. I think people mix up mycorrhizal with mycelium.

This is why i bought the mycospores from Paul Stamets. I planted wheat kernels several weeks before. WHen they got a substantial root base, I dipped them in the rain water spore mix, then planted the wheat next to trees in my orchard so that the roots of the wheat were physically touching the root of the tree. The wheat went on to live for months, ensuring the likelihood of the mychorrizae within the roots of the trees. wheat was chosen because it's cheap, hardy, and able to accept a wide range of mycorrhizal spores. Indeed, I later observed fruiting bodies of some of the species of spores in the dripline of my trees and had them positively Identified by my local mycological society.
John S
PDX OR
 
pollinator
Posts: 317
Location: South Central Michigan Zone 6
51
dog forest garden fish hunting tiny house food preservation
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My understanding is that mycorrhiza only live on the roots themselves. And most inoculates are going to say on the fine print that once mixed with water it needs to be used within 30 minutes. And the reason being is that mycorrhizal fungi can only thrive directly on the roots.

I used to use a product called Subculture-M, and my understanding is that you only need to apply it once, so long as you have not been disrupting your micro life with toxins.

I am also someone who thinks that consistent reapplication of mycorrhizal fungi is not only not needed, but its not doing anything. The health of the soil and plant are going to decide how healthy the fungi are that are living on the roots.

This is not necessarily true with fungi and bacteria who do not live on the roots themselves but rather just work in symbiosis with the plant.

There is a lot of money in selling an organic product that people think as long as they keep buying and applying that their garden will just do better.

Make plenty of compost tea, from plenty of different materials. Build soil and mulch, add organic compost or manure when it is available, and everything else will fall in place.

I myself with the knowledge I have on compost tea (I am not the end all expert by any means) would not think that mycorrhizal fungi are going to live in a compost tea for more than 30 minutes or so. In order for their cycle to continue they need to have access to living roots. If you had a hydroponic plant you could maybe place in your bubbling compost tea, that might give some living roots to grow on, just my 2 cents.

Good luck.
 
Posts: 489
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
41
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I stumbled across this 3-4 year old thread, the first thing which crossed my mind was to insert tubes into the ground.  I am doing this in fixing my deck.  But I will have the ability to insert a tube connected to a diaphragm pump to remove water from post holes.  This becomes less of a need if one covers the ground with a sheet of poly.

But, that isn't fungi in the ground.

I don't think fungi or roots are quite as particular as seems to being presented here.

Reading about how legume plants establish a relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria in nodules, there is a bit of a dance (social analogue) or handshake (networking analogue) which happens.  There are points where the root can take actions, which would likely cause harm to the bacteria.  In part, this is because there are other bacteria which cannot fix nitrogen for legumes, who would seek to take advantage of having the legume plant provide it with sugar (or other materials).

I have also read an account about fungal networks in the forest.  There, the fungi were transporting water, sugar and other materials between differing species of trees.  I believe examples have been found where all that is left of a tree is the roots, and it is still participating in exchange of materials with other trees via fungal networks.

But, it may be that a person wants to try using different roots from time to time to carry fungi down to lower levels, as well as to leave behind these "vertical tunnels" in the soil.  Try wheat one year, maybe try carrots the next year?
 
Gordon Haverland
Posts: 489
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
41
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The first of the Wikipedia beneficial weeds list is Bashful mimosa (Mimosa pudica).  The Wikipedia article on this "weed" mentions that it forms relationships with 2 different bacteria.

If a plant can form relationships with more than 1 kind of bacteria, and needs to be on the lookout for other bacteria looking for a free meal; it seems reasonable to expect fungi to be the same way.  Especially since fungi have been found to connect different species in their "networks" in the soil.

 
Gordon Haverland
Posts: 489
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
41
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Closer to the actual topic.

If you mix oil and vinegar you form an emulsion.  In some senses, a cell wall is like an emulsion.  Anyway, you should be able to set up two phase systems where we put an aqueous phase (the compost tea) inside an organic phase (quaternay amine bilayer? phospholipid bilayer?).  We then grow something like daikon radish within the root field of the tree.  We harvest the diakon as gently as we can.  We are left with pointed holes in the ground.  Pour in our compost tea emulsion (you probably just need to wet the walls, not fill the hole), and then put a plug of peat moss or something in the top of the hole.

Is lyposomes the word for this?  The bilayer with contents.
 
John Suavecito
gardener
Posts: 2953
250
forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Let's remember the the air is already flowing with spores.  I think what we want is a balanced, healthy system with potential.  If we have food for fungi in the soil, we will have fungi.  Wood chips or slow to compost materials feed fungi.  I applied the mycorrhizal fungi mix, but I got the soil right first.  The soil needs to drain, and have all kinds of a mix of different forms of life; bacteria, nematodes, ciliates, flagellates, fungi and much more.  They create the nutrition from the organic material in it.  Sometimes all we need to do is to see what's missing and add it.
John S
PDX OR
 
Gordon Haverland
Posts: 489
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
41
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are you saying that all one needs is to (for example) plant daikon radish, and the spores will magically get into this hole in the ground?
 
John Suavecito
gardener
Posts: 2953
250
forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's not what I'm saying.  I'm saying make sure that the soil has the main basic, healthy, balanced things in it and some mycorrhizal fungi will grow.  Adding mycorrhizae after would be bettter than before.  You can add soil from beneath an established, say, apple tree to your apple tree for some mycorrhizae that would work.  
John S
PDX OR
 
Gordon Haverland
Posts: 489
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
41
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For my particular interests, a couple of years ago I planted two apples and two pears (1 or 2 year old seedlings).  I didn't do anything to help them.  They were outside of the annoying geotech fabric zone mentioned below.

I have two apple trees "on the lawn" which are 40 or so years old, and which produce good apple crops for the most part.

But all of these plantings have a layer of geotech fabric (now 40 or so years old), which  puts a problem on trying to take  a cup (or gallon) of soil from under any of these trees.

I have planted a couple of things into this mess of geotech fabric, and what seems to work the best is a razor knife to slice away this stuff at the surface.  I am wishing that this stuff was never installed in the first place.  But, to try and rip this out (I will have a tractor in a couple of weeks), also seems to produce problems depending on how the geotech fabric was installed (no documentation remains).

It may be too late for me to help those apple and pear trees, but maybe other people have a similar circumstance?

---

I was expecting a bunch of trees this spring, but flooding in Quebec (I am in BC) stopped that.  Maybe they show up this fall or next spring.  The tractor I bought may be here in a week or so.  I am no longer limited to using a mattock to work the land.  Which will help a lot.

One particular planting, is about 60 pines (Korean and Siberian) and 5 Dawn Redwoods (just because).

The two pastures of my land (excludes The Lawn) were last worked by me, in 1977.  Since then, it has been a fescue pasture with not enough animals to graze it.

Into that environment, I know of 5 or 6 pines (some still alive, some killed by Mountain pine beetle) in this area.  None of those pines is Korean or Siberian.  They are probably all "white".  I am looking to help some bees with King Strat mushrooms (from Fungi Perfecti), and I hence I also have some MycoGrowSoluble coming.

The dominant tree on my farm is aspen (trembling).  It is a colony plant, and while I don't have any evidence that all the aspen here are genetically identical, it is possible.  And their roots are everywhere.  I also have extensive (Alberta) wild rose pretty much all over the farm.  They seem to prefer convex locations (which relates to keyline issues), but they are almost everywhere.

The intention is to plant 3 rows of pines (siberian, korean, siberian) as about 20 feet on centre and 20 feet between rows (or so), and then plant the 5 Dawn Redwood next to them but with 50 feet replacing 20 feet.

My intention was to run a single bottom subsoiler (coming with the tractor) along the path about every foot, to try and break up any aspen or rose roots near the surface.  I have no intention of tilling anything.

If digging up soil from one of my dead mountain pine beetle killed trees is useful, I could rent a rototiller to work some of that soil into places where I planting one of these nut pines.  I have no reason  to exect that this would help or hinder the locations where I am planting dawn redwood (a living fossil).

 
Gordon Haverland
Posts: 489
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
41
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recently bought a "patch" from fungi.com, and some MycoGrowSoluble.  I bought enough to handle what I might yet receive this fall, or perhaps next spring (tree shipment delayed by flooding).  I bought a little extra.

Most of the seedlings I get are small.  They aren't going to shade out anything in the first few years.

What seems to make some sense to me, is to try growing something like tillage radish (just a single seed!)  at some close distance to one of these seedlings.  It takes weeks to open a hole that is 2 or 3 inches in diameter, hence the strain rate on any roots it might encounter (my tree or others) will be low.  Next spring, I could prepare 0.25g of the product in 1 cup of water; and pour it into the hole.  Or rather, pour it down the edges (to just wet the surfaces) and then fill the hole with something like compost, sawdust, ....

 
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lots of ways to inoculate soil or plants with MF, many good ideas in this thread

However, be aware that MF will not thrive in soils all but devoid of Phosphorus. If your soil has more than 100 ppm soluble (plant-available) Phosphate, commercially available MF will not colonize your plants and will not thrive. Between 50-100 ppm Phosphate they will colonize some plants and their presence will be variable. Below 50ppm phosphate they will thrive and colonize most plant species that interact with MF.

If you want to encorage MF in your soil, get a paste extract soil test before spending money on MF inoculation. This kind of test only tests for soluble nutrients in the soil. Some soil tests give results that do not distinguish between soluble and insoluble phosphorus, which are not helpful for this purpose. Phosphate is notoriously bound by soils into insoluble forms that are not especially available for plant uptake, but MF secrete enzymes that can dissolve these water-insoluble forms of Phosphorus - which is the evolutionary function of MF, they can access these forms of phosphorus that plants cannot and will exchange them with plants for sugars when soluble soil P levels are low. If your soil is low in phosphate, you can inoculate, but odds are good there are already MF populations present if your plant community is diverse and contains species that interact with MF. Inoculation is most useful in disturbed soils or soils that previously supported few plant species, such as grass lawns. Finally, to encourage continued MF populations in your soil, avoid applying phosphate fertilizers and, in soils you want to be maximally productive (like gardens), also test for cobalt; at concentrations around 10-15 ppm cobalt was found to enhance the effect of MF on crops in low phosphate soils.

Good growing!
 
Those who dance are thought mad by those who hear not the music. This tiny ad plays the bagpipes:
Devious Experiments for a Truly Passive Greenhouse!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/greenhouse-1
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic