Mychorrizae for bulb production

Started by illahe, September 12, 2023, 05:28:52 PM

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Hello bulb growers, 

Some months ago I posted about finding a source for water soluble mychorrizae after reading some articles on how it greatly increased bulb offsetting and flower production in Crocus sativus. 

Well, here is a bit of an update, since I was able to locate what I think is a great product. I started using this on all the bulbs: Mycoapply soluble maxx mychorrhizae

I have a few results to report, This year during harvest I found that the roots of some species, especially Fritillaria were massive compared to previous years. Normally as the bulbs senesce the seasonal roots do the same and I'm left with really very little matter to deal with and the bulbs normally pot right out of the flats or pots that I grow them in. This year, despite being dried down thoroughly, the roots were thick and still very much present. I would say that is easily 10-20 times the root growth I normally see on Fritillaria at harvest time. 

It's still anecdotal at this point, but I would say that observationally, the increased root growth did correlate to larger bulbs. Given this, I'm hoping to set up some real experiments, taking some before and after measurements, bulb weights and such with a control group. 

I do think it's worth playing around with and if you wonder why not just get some of the soil additive mychorrhizae that are very common. Since I repot in mid-late summer and the root growth doesn't always begin immediately the water soluble product allows me to inoculate when the roots are actively growing. Trust me i'm not a paid spokesperson, but I do like to share things that work and this has been a great product. There are probably others available, but for a commercial grower, I have found this to be a great value. I use it on the rock garden and alpine plants I grow as well. 

Salem, Oregon

Too Many Plants!

Hi Mark, it appears no one seems interested in what is...The Soil Food Web! But I am! Years ago I had a discovery...after a period of acquiring many rare plants, and keeping them in pots for my eventual landscape vision, I started putting compost I was making in some of the pots, but I wasn't making enough compost for all the pots. After a while (maybe 6 months to a year) I became convinced there was something going on with the plants I was feeding the compost to. After some time of digging around and talking to people, someone pointed me to the book "The Soil Food Web". Which was a dry read through parts of the book, but after reading through the book about 3 times, it opened my mind to a whole different understanding of plants' roots, soil, compost, fertilizer, and so on, etc., etc. It's ALL about the Microbiology! After learning some more, I started pursuing compost Tea. One day I'm going to get myself a nice big professional compost Tea brewer! Over the years I've fed Great White mycorrhizae, as well as other brands. We moved to a different city, and I've had a harder time making compost, but eventually, when my honey-do list gets down to just a few things I'll endeavor to get my composting down. I've also got into Vermicomposting a bit too. My challenge there is getting the worms to stick around through our hot dry summers.
Cheers  :)


Very interesting! I will have to check out the Great White brand, that was exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping for. Just what has worked for people and what hasn't. I think it is easy to go down the snake oil route with so many different brands and products available. It's always nice to hear what has worked.

This week the temperatures are down in the 30's for lows and highs in the 50's, lot's of top growth is up on some of the winter growers and so I have been doing applications to the plants in growth. For what it is worth here is the description from the water soluble VAM that I use:
MycoApply® Ultrafine Endo/Ecto is a suspendable powder mycorrhizal inoculum consisting of 4 species of endomycorrhizal fungi and 7 species of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Approximately 95% of the worlds plant species form symbiotic relationships with at least one of these types of symbiotic soil fungi. These beneficial fungi greatly increase the effective rooting area of plants, thereby enhancing plant growth, vigor, and tolerance of environmental extremes. MycoApply® Ultrafine Endo/Ecto is a concentrated, fine, suspendable material with a particle size less than 300 microns (will pass a #50 mesh screen) containing mycorrhizal propagules, which colonize roots and extend into the surrounding soil forming an essential link between plants and soil resources. Increasing the rooting area allows improved access to water and nutrients, promoting plant quality and crop performance.

I also grow in relatively small pots, which allows me to better control the drainage so I think it's even more important when the soil available nutrients are somewhat restricted. I especially like the statement that it helps with tolerance of environmental extremes, these last 5 years the environmental extremes have been getting more and more extreme! Hotter summers, colder/wetter winters.

Years ago I worked as a groundskeeper at the state run school for the blind, it was a 100 year old campus with many very old, and overgrown camellias and rhododendrons. Being a state school there was no budget for fertilizers or fungicides and many of the large shrubs had nutrient deficiencies and sooty mold. But I had a small tractor and tons of mature oak and ash leaves with which to make compost/leafmould. I convinced them to let me make a 50 gallon compost tea brewer. It was located in the back of the boiler room so had a nice warm temperature and I recirculated the water through a mesh bag filled with my homemade compost, suspended in a 5 gallon bucket at the top of the 50 gallon drum. After a day of running, I poured in a cup of unsulphured mollases and the next few days the brew became the most wonderful smelling blend of microbiology! I used an atv mounted sprayer to hose down the large camellia's and rhody's with the tea and in no time at all the sooty mold had disappeared and the shiny leaves, turned a nice dark green! It really does work but it takes some time to prepare.