Daylilies forum: Mycorrhizae

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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
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cybersix
Dec 28, 2015 12:09 PM CST
Hi everyone,
today I bought some Mycorrhizae after reading it has a lot of benefits for plants: it helps growth, strenght and roots, it seems it makes plants more pest resistant too.

Now I don't know if I can use it with cold, I intended to put a bit of it in my seedlings soil to help them grow better. They are in a cold frame so they don't get all the cold there's outside.
Any advice would be very welcome!
Thank You!
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Dec 28, 2015 1:19 PM CST
Here is a distillation of ideas I've gathered from various plant forums–just something to kick off discussion.

Cold shouldn't hurt the micro organisms–cold slows most biological and chemical processes–rather it should preserve them. I suspect that they'll still do what they're supposed to do, only at a reduced rate.

Mycorrhizae thrive if well-fed, and some growers use molasses-based concoctions to accomplish that.

Chlorine and chloramine in public drinking water supplies will kill off a lot of them–probably something to consider before investing in expensive mycorrhizae inoculants.

Some people feel that commercial fertilizers reduce mycorrhizae populations as well.

Ken
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Dec 28, 2015 2:48 PM CST
Thank you Ken.
I read about fertilizers but some say they are harmful and some not.
I didn't think about chlorine in water.
These are fungi so technically theu should be hard to kill.

Now I have to figure out how to put the powder near the roots without stressing seedlings too much!
I read people claiming the roots with mycorrizae grow about ten times bigger than those without Confused
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Peter
Allentown PA (Zone 6b)
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Nysbadmk8
Dec 29, 2015 9:07 PM CST
Chlorine in the water supply will only work against you.

True "Mycorrhizae" is very expensive, with great benefits, but you need a good environment for them to thrive.
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Dec 30, 2015 2:08 AM CST
Thank you Peter!
I'm wanting to use it for my seedlings in pots, I use filtered water: we have to filter it for drinking and for pots I use that. For the plants in the ground I will see next spring.
The soil looks really "alive" there's a lot of signs of earthworms work, more than the past years so I guess the soil it's not too bad. But I'm not an expert.
I read about a nursery that uses mychorrhizae when transplanting plants so I may start to do the same.
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Dec 30, 2015 9:18 AM CST
I have doubts about mycorrhizae being added to soils, I have read so many sites showing very different results. I also see many sites that seem to repeat the following message:
"Mycorrhizae are specific fungi that form symbiotic associations with plant roots. Found in most soils, they are very host-specific (i.e., each plant species has specific species of mycorrhizae associated with it)."
It seems the places selling these products give the impression "one size fits all" so to speak. It seems a lot of nurseries, and some very large ones at that, use these products, but I wonder if they have the financial and technical ability to create or buy mycorrhizae developed specifically for the plants they are growing?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Dec 30, 2015 10:12 AM CST
I'm inclined to agree with Larry. You may get some benefit in soilless mixes (I would try a test treatment and keep some untreated to see if there's a difference over time) but less likely in the garden soil. These fungi occur naturally in soil and are adapted to your local environment and plants. Unless the soil is very poor my understanding is that you may see no benefit from adding a commercial product. I recall one hybridizer telling me he'd tried mycorrhizal innoculants for daylilies (I presume planted rather than potted) and saw no difference.

From a report prepared in the UK about the beneficial effects of mycorrhizae are these notes at the bottom of the article, paraphrased as the iPad won't let me copy direct:

Transition from demonstrating beneficial effects in the field as opposed to lab have been difficult. Conventional systems have little gain as the fungus drains carbon from the plant whereas the benefits to the plant from the fungus can be achieved less expensively with fertilizer and biocides.

They comment that there hasn't been a high demand for commercial product perhaps due to unconvincing literature concerning efficacy in field situatons. Successful field trials are rarely found in journals and commercial ads don't provide evidence of benefit in field conditions, only giving examples fom controlled lab and greenhouse conditions.

This is from:
http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/sites/www.gardenorganic.org....

I have no idea if the fungi that colonize daylilies in nature are included in commercial products, or how much daylilies might benefit from them. There's very little info available on mycorrhizae in daylilies. It would be interesting to do a test with daylilies, one group given mycorrhizae, one given fertilizer and one group untreated. The few commercial products I've looked at also contain fertilizer which makes it difficult to separate the reason any apparent benefits.

Edited to add this link to an article on mycorrhizae by Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott of Washington State Univesity:
http://puyallup.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/403/2015/03...
[Last edited by sooby - Dec 30, 2015 10:30 AM (+)]
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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Europe Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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cybersix
Dec 30, 2015 2:52 PM CST
Thank Sue, I read a lot in these days about mycorrhizae and yes, it' difficult to know if they are already there and if they are beneficial or not. Some have great results, some not.
For daylilies this is the only thing I found: http://www.arcadiandaylilies.com/Page%2012.pdf

I read on an italian forum they are really adviced for roses. But if the roses should die the mychorrizae would die, so everytime they should be added when planting new plants.

As far as I can get it seems they "specialize" with the plant they find.
I thought adding some to my seedlings won't hurt. At worst, everything will be the same as now.
Sabrina, North Italy
My blog: http://hemerocallisblog.com
Name: KadieD
Oceania, Mariana Islands (Zone 11b)
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Rainbow
Dec 30, 2015 3:01 PM CST
http://garden.org/forums/view/permaculture/

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