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Microbes and mycorrhiza and minerals, oh my!!  RSS feed

 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 600
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Armed with my new purchases (and my notes from a certain thread that used to be on this site), I'm ready to mix up a batch of goodies for my soil. The Myco Grow had arrived first (last week) so I mixed 1teaspoon in a 2 gal watering can and used a stake to make holes beside my already in ground plants. Made sure the roots were thoroughly wetted. Other plants in heavy mulch were just watered without making a hole beside them. And I soaked my seedlings that still need to be put in ground.
I'm not doing a plant to plant, or a bed to bed comparison, everything is getting the same dose. I want to see how the soil looks, feels, smells after sufficient time. I want to see if my plants produce better this year than in previous ones. I want it to kick the butt of the tomato blight that I've fought for several years now. Am I hoping for too much?
The mix I'm going to try, I've had to do the math on to get smaller amounts in some cases and I suck at math, but the ratios to be used in my 2 gal. pump sprayer and spraying both ground and plants til wet:
1 t. MycoGrow (from fungi perfecti)
4T. Azomite (from Seed Ranch, will mix in water but keep it shook up)
4T. EM-1 (from Teraganix)
Maybe 3-4T. Molasses (I don't have lot. "Somebody" said she used 1T. molasses with 1t. EM-1. More math😠.)

Wish me luck and as always I am open to suggestions.


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The arsenal
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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great products, Good Luck might not be needed here, The molasses is for feeding the mycelium by the way.

Good growing!
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 600
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Thank you.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 600
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
52
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STOP!
I finally started my mix today. I mixed a 10 gal. batch in a 20 gal. hose end sprayer. I did this because 1.)if it worked well I can quickly spray 10 gal. as opposed to having to keep mixing 2 gal. batches in the pump sprayer and 2.) I think the pump sprayer would clog easier and 3.) the hose end sprayer is mine, the pump sprayer is his.
It clogged immediately. I had mixed it well but it was too grainy still. I had watched a video of a lady spraying azomite and water. She had said just keep shaking it as you spray. I did that. It must be the Myco-Grow that didn't mix in well. Since that didn't work out, I divided the mix in the jar into several 2 gal. watering cans and applied, but it even clogged up the rose so I removed it.
Sooo, I think I'm going to side dress with the azomite and MycoGrow and water it in with EM-1 and molasses mixed in the hose end sprayer.
As I kept having to shake the jar, little drops were being flung out of the vent hole in the jar lid. I have brown speckles now. I'm a microbial mess ( where else but this site would you hear a statement like that?😃) I have to say though, the EM-1 smells delicious, like apple cider.
I hope nobody has had this same kind of mess on account of my original post. If so, my apologies.
 
Steve Farmer
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Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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What's the thinking behind spraying it rather than pouring it where you want it to go?
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
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Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Hey Steve,
Spraying as opposed to pouring was to get a good foliar coverage. I'd read that a foliar spray of either/both EM-1 and azomite would help prevent pest issues. Also spraying would be a more gentle way of applying on my still small plants.
I ended up yesterday sprinkling the dry azomite around all my plants and watering it in with EM-1 and molasses mixed in the hose end sprayer. I had used the MycoGrow on the roots of everything once already and since it was the more costly of my purchases I may wait before applying more.
The instructions on the EM-1 said apply once a week but for the other products I don't know if too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Anyone have information on this?
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 600
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Hey all,

Made my Monday morning mix of microbes, mycorrhiza and minerals. I used the ratios for the 2 gal. batch, as in my first post, mixed it in a watering can without a rose ( it clogged the rose when I tried it before). I did use the MycoGrow (mycorrhizal fungi) again. I'm still unsure of how often to use the MycoGrow or the Azomite. I did use it this time because some of my peppers and eggplants were still in their little cups last time i used it. They did get a bit poured on them while in their cups but I wanted to get some on their roots now that they've been planted in the garden. They were looking great in their cups of soilless mix but soon after planting them (everything was planted with composted cow manure) they started to turn yellow. I'm hoping that today's MMM mix will help them get established and green up again.

The tomatoes are finally jumping. They took a bit to get established too. They had what looked like a phosphorus deficiency (purple leaves) to start with but now are fine. Their lower leaves did have a few spots on them earlier (fungal disease?) so I gave them a trim and will probably give them another today. I am really hoping that if I can better the health of the soil that diseases will one day be eradicated in my gardens.


IMO, it's still way too early to notice any significant difference in the soil (it still resembles baked clay in most places). I think I remember "someone" saying they had beautiful black, friable soil down 6 inches after only one application. Hard to remember some specific details of what that person said since those threads are no longer visible. My notes from those threads are not greatly detailed so, for what it's worth, I'm winging it. If my efforts are fruitless, I'll consider it as taking one for the team.

I will report back next week. Maybe there will be a "MIRACLE" to report.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 600
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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It's Monday and you know what that means....

I applied my MMMs by 2 gal watering can again. EM-1, MycoGrow, Azomite in the proportions for 2 gal. I have ran out of molasses but the EM-1 contains molasses also. This time I also added liquid Fish Fertilizer into the mix.

I really had to try something extra in my mix because the peppers and eggplants are still a pale yellow (as I reported earlier) and their size has barely, if at all, increased since being planted into the garden. Maybe the N in the Fish Fertilizer will improve their color.

The tomatoes are growing sturdy. They have small tomatoes forming. Their color looks good now (some had a purple tint before).One plant had an aphid problem which I was able to manually take care of and one hornworm so far. There has been a few lower branches that have had spots on them. I remove these as quickly as possible. I am really hoping to see less foliar diseases as I strive for healthier soil. There are quite a few leaves that have edges curling inward and some branches curling as well. I don't know how to interpret this. I've read that it could be from disease, inconsistent watering or hard pruning. Any of these could be the case in my garden.

The poor squash has been tormented by squash bugs. I smash them and their eggs daily. Most plants are rebounding from earlier damage though. Some extra seeds may be needed to replace a few that are a loss.

The cucumbers are still very small and bothered a little by grasshoppers. The area they are in is where I trellised them last year too but this year I put down newspaper and wood chips. I'm hoping the mix will improve the soil there and the quality of the cucumbers. Last year they had stunted growth on the blossom ends.

My BTE garden has a wide variety of plants in it, where the other gardens are rows of the same type of plants or a mix of two, the BTE has interspersed veggies, herbs and flowers. Everything there is doing okay except I don't think basil likes heavy mulch. I'll be curious to see if my carrots, which are in two separate pockets planted on the garden edge, will perform as well as those in the posts where I first read of applying these products.

The change in the soil is still not apparent in my observations. The worst area is the uphill side of my largest garden. That's where the peppers and eggplants are planted. Very hard baked clay. But, if the person, whose previous posts inspired me to start my (non-scientific) experiment, says these products can dramatically change any type of soil then i should still expect miracles in my hard clay soil. Right?

I have probably enough product for two more weekly applications at the ratio I've been using. Would still have MycoGrow left but not EM-1 (unless I made my own) or Azomite. Bring on the miracles.

I do believe that these products are beneficial or else I wouldn't have bought them. I don't know if they are the seemingly miraculous, quick performing, can-do-it-all concoctions as so reported by others. But maybe, I'll be able to notice at least something in this attempt.

 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 600
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
52
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Hi peeps! It's Tuesday...hope everyone had a great weekend. It was an extended holiday weekend for us here in the U.S., of course. Happy Independence Day (belated)!

I am not able to step into my gardens right now because it has been raining so much here. In some nearby areas, the flooding has been reported as "worse than the Flood of '85". I feel fortunate that we didn't have it as bad as that but feel terrible for the people who did. My project is on hold until I can get back into the garden. It's hard to apply products that are mixed with water when your plants are feeling waterlogged already. I think having too much water is what made my peppers and eggplants turn yellow. I hope in my absence that the many microbes are munching on minerals and multiplying by the millions. We did aerate the gardens before all the rain so it was able to hold lots of water without runoff. We used our Meadow Creature Broadfork for the job and it worked beautifully.

After my post last week, I discovered more aphids on my tomatoes (more than I can smash by hand). The first aphids were easy to see because they were purple but the ones I have now are the same color as the leaves and hard to see. I had reported earlier about fighting the squash bugs, it is now apparent that not only do I have squash bugs, I also have squash vine borers. 3 squash plants I pulled up entirely and have started germinating more seeds. On other plants I cut out the borer and covered the open wound with soil. They seem to be recovering well. I have ordered a bag of food grade diatomaceous earth. I hope we'll have a break in the rains so I can use it. I have read that it works only when dry. I have also read that you can apply it wet and allow it to dry. This is a new product for me, so I can't advise if i haven't tried it yet.

There's a chance of rain every day this week but less towards the weekend. I'll get back to the project as soon as the Mother Nature allows. Until then.....peace.

PS: Thanks for the apple last week.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9696
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Sorry about the waterlogging!  My garden got waterlogged during this spring's floods, and the plants really suffered - turned pale, stopped growing, and attracted loads of bugs.  As the soil dried out these problems have been lessening, but some plants which were weakened never recovered enough to stop getting attacked, so I gave up on some and removed them, others removed themselves by totally dying.  I hope most of yours will survive.

 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
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Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Thanks Tyler. We've had years like this before and it's only good for mold, mildew and mushrooms. Although, I do like mushrooms. I noticed the other day that the violets growing under the crabapple trees were covered with powdery mildew already.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
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Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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It's been awhile since I last reported on my project here. It's been an awfully wet summer so far. It has rained 15 out of the past 16 days! The only day it didn't rain (3 days ago) would have broken the record for our area (set in 1955) of 13 days straight of rain, instead we just tied the record. Before this stretch of rain, we had a week of record heat (several neighboring counties broke records that week) and we had a flood just before that. Wow!
My microbes, mycorrhiza and minerals are growing many molds, mushrooms and mildew since all this rain.

I've used up all of my purchased products, except for the Fungi Perfecti. It took awhile to find days I could do my last few applications. I haven't been able to get into the garden much lately because I don't want to compact the wet soil. When I was able to get in there last, I can report on a positive note that the soil around my plants was of a good rich color and crumbled easily in my hands. Away from the plants the soil was still like clay. Since I only applied the products on and around the plants maybe this could be the result of our microbes work. I hope so and hope they will continue to spread.

The garden still has its issues with lots of insect damage and foliar disease, although I think the diseases were slower to spread this year. That, in such a wet season, is a plus! The soil additives may have at least slowed them down. As I mentioned earlier, I had also purchased food grade DE for the insect issues but haven't been able to use it due to the rains. I've been able to apply neem once this year but when sprays get washed off quickly they do little good.

In conclusion, I still have faith that these are good and beneficial products. I may not be able to see their work without the aid of a microscope but I feel I am slowly seeing some of the results of their work. They (and I) have not had the easiest growing conditions this year. I am planning to start making my own microbes and have been researching the many ways to do so. I feel another project coming on!
 
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