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Mushrooms could drastically cut fertilizer in agriculture

 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
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Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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Quote from article:

"Reporting on research by Ian Sanders of the University of Lusanne, Switzerland, Daily Science informs us that fungi reduce the need for fertilizer in agriculture. Because plants form symbiotic relationships with certain mushrooms, known as mycorrhizal fungi, and because those mushrooms acquire nutrients—and specifically phosphate—and make it available to plants, they act as an extension of plants' root systems, drastically reducing the need for phosphate fertilizers."

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/05/mushrooms-cut-fertilizer-use-agriculture.php
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110523101907.htm
 
Fred Allen
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"researchers have been working on biotechnology breakthroughs that allow huge quantities of mycorrhizal fungi spores to be suspended in gel"

GMO fungus---to replace all the mycoriza that has been nuked by Glyphosate? May God help us and save us from the false gods of GM.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Hopefully all they mean is that they are working on a way to store and transport spores in gel. I'm an eternal optimist. I really don't want to read GMO into that sentence. My optimism my be misplaced though...
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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An interesting thing we learned, accidentally, in Costa Rica. If you leave the field trees and just plant around them, you will get better results. This is because if you cut all the trees, the fungus dies.

Unfortunately, many plantations just cut down all the trees before they planted, and wondered why their trees grew so slowly. Tropical trees need fungi in order to access nutrients.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i have also read that when you plant a tree, if you have a forested area you should remove some soil around the trees in the forest and put them in the hole of the tree you plant to help it to grow..I've tried that recently around here, but don't really know if it has helped as I just read it last fall..we'll wait and see.

I do however know though that tree's i've planted out in lawn take "forever" to grow..so it is worth a try..and makes total sense

also anything scientists are doing is scarey to me
 
David Goodman
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"I do however know though that tree's i've planted out in lawn take "forever" to grow"

I noticed that too, then discovered that if you hack a big circle out of the grass around each one and don't let it grow anywhere close to the tree (keep it at least 3' from the trunk), the trees will grow a LOT faster. Other plants don't seem to make as big a difference, but grass directly interferes with the tree's ability to uptake nutrients and water.

As for fungi... that's awesome. I'm a big fan. I've actually brought puffballs and other mushrooms I've found into my yard and shredded them up and stuffed pieces into mulch beds and in damp areas, hoping to add more fungi to my land.

And... on scientists... I totally agree. I'm a science nut (got mad biology skillz) but I also see a certain irony in how science fetishists are horrified that religious people might not teach enough science (or the current theories) in school. If anything is likely to end the world, it's unrestricted science. I don't see the Vatican or Jehovah's Witnesses working on nukes, GMO monsters or bringing back virulent influenza strains. And the only way the Baptists might get into cloning is if you convinced them it would make a more delicious pulled pork for their Memorial Day picnics.





 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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hey now - not all of us science type people are evil, you know

I don't read any indication towards GMO in the statements, either. Additional delivery methods to make it easier to establish positive fungal interactions with trees could be very helpful. The dry powdered forms are pretty easy to use, already, though.

I used the "myco-packs" from Raintree Nursery when I put my trees in last spring. No idea how to tell if it grew or interfaced with the tree roots, but, so far, so good. My soil tests indicated virtually no organic matter, and trace NPK at best. Most trees and bushes still put on some nice growth last year. My pakistan mulberry put on 80 inches of growth in the year it was planted!

The more I learn about mycorrhizal and endophytic symbiotic fungi, the more fascinated I am.
 
Fred Morgan
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Vidad, most of the feeder roots on near the surface. So you are correct, removing grass removes competition. Mulching is even better if you can because that is more like a forest.
 
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