Seeds forum: Adding microbes to soil for seedling starts?

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 862, Replies: 25 » Jump to the end
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CarolineScott
Jan 2, 2014 12:38 AM CST
I am wondering if any one adds microbial supplements to the soil for seed starting?
In Canada there is a product called MYKE which is supposed to improve plant growth through the interaction of this fungi with plant roots?
Might be worth a try?
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Onewish1
Jan 2, 2014 4:43 AM CST

Moderator

I never tried any.. looking forward to responses
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
Image
kqcrna
Jan 2, 2014 6:03 AM CST

Moderator

I haven't used mycorrhizae either, at least not specifically. I have used potting mix with it in, like ProMix BX. I believe certain genus requires specific type of fungus.
Micorrhiza
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycorrhiza

My homegrown compost is teeming with obvious, apparent fungi and mold, and that eventually ends up in my garden beds and/or flower pots. That's my only experience with fungi. Hilarious!

Karen

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 2, 2014 7:16 PM CST
I always wanted to, but the prices have been too high for me.

I'm hoping that, if I can make my soil into something that favors healthy roots, they will find a spore of the root fungi they need and multiply it.

Some microbiologist once said something like "everything is everywhere - growing conditions determine what predominates".

But I always wanted to get involved in the root-fungus symbiosis by adding spores. One company advertised its product as better than anyone else's because THEY sold spores that had great viability after storage. Other companies, they claimed, just sold dried, powdered fungal hyphae that mostly died on the shelf before purchase.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Jan 4, 2014 12:44 PM CST
This must be 'microbe week'. I just submitted an Idea (using microbes in a different way) to Trish and it's waiting to be published.

Having never heard of MYKE, I did some quick research. I found some help via Canada which listed several types of MYKE as well as almost 300 other organic/natural fertilizers.

http://www.organicinputs.ca/list/products/classification=42/
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 4, 2014 7:24 PM CST
I would add it Caroline. I've been using Premier Promix BX with microbes for years and it certainly make a difference for the small seedlings.
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
Image
BrendaVR
Jan 5, 2014 1:09 PM CST
I have used MYKE Pro and I love it. ...although this is my first year with it. The plants I used it on really seemed to do well. I didn't do any comparisons but the ones I used it on grew really vigorously and did well without any ferts. I was amazed how fast some of my little shrubs grew...started from seed in the house and used the MYKE on planting out and they just exploded...

I do not use it at seeding time though, I use it when I plant out those seedlings. I spread it around the rootball as I plant them so I know it is in contact with the roots (and the roots are actively growing).

I have mostly used it on the shrubs but trying it on my flowers is a good idea...just didn't think of that last year...

I'm a big fan of microbs. Some soils have lots naturally but if your in a new house I think you are starting from scratch...subdivision builders do not care about anything living, let alone the soil microbs so they are likely all gone due to the way things are done...If you have a long term, organic garden with constant plant cover I think you should have many natural microbs happily living. (always keep a cover crop will help sustain the microbs...they need the plants as much as the plants need them!)
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
Image
BrendaVR
Jan 5, 2014 1:19 PM CST
PS: what one you use can depend a little on what plants you are growing.

Some plants have specific mycrobs they need...so I used the produce with as many variates of microbs as I could get (because I ws planting shrubs and trees and otherstuff). If you are planting peas then you would need to get the right legume inoculation (the "Garden" ones usually have ALL the legume microbs for everything...) I still have not found a product with frankiie microbs that Ceanothus sp use...likely a bit to much of a niche market. :P so going to try to inoculate myself from some wild roots...

but also watch what product you buy because I have seen some that also add other things that they call "beneficial" like Bt. Grumbling For me that would be doing the TOTAL OPPOSITE of what I want...Bt is a bacterium that will kill lepidoptera and I'm planting these shrubs specifically so I can get lepidoptera laying eggs in my garden and hopefully I can see the adults...
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CarolineScott
Jan 5, 2014 1:26 PM CST
Thank you for your replies.
I do use the legume inoculant.
Maybe I should just go to the ProBx soil mixes.
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
Image
BrendaVR
Jan 5, 2014 4:01 PM CST
I've never seen ProBX soil but a quick google search and it looks like it is quite different than the MYKE microbs. ProBx is being sold as "a biofungicide that prevents root diseases. The Bacillus subtilis bacteria colonize developing root systems, and combat disease-causing organisms that attack them" so to me looks totally different then beneficial bacteria in the Myke products. So what you use will depend on what you are trying to do. Do you have issues with root rot? Then looks like this ProBX would be what you want but if you want to increase plant health in general I would think a wide range of beneficial microbes is the way to go. The MYKE product I have does not appear to have this "Bacillus subtilis" that the ProBx has...my MYKE has : Glomus intraradices , Pisolithus tinctorius, Scleroderma cepa, Scleroderma citrinni, Rhizopogon roseolus, Rhizopogon subscaerelescens, Rhizopogon villosulus, Rhizopogon vulgaris, Laccaria laccata.
So maybe for best results us both? Whistling
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 5, 2014 4:36 PM CST
I'm going to add Epsom Salts to my water for germination and seedlings. I use Epsom Salts during the growing season, but never tried it for helping with germination .

The Premier ProMix BX that I use is this one: http://www.pthorticulture.com/en/pro-mix-bx-mycorrhizae-grow...
I use the BX for everything, seeding, containers, hanging baskets etc.

Info on the mycrorrhizae in the BX:
http://www.pthorticulture.com/media/12068/pth_mycorrhizae_6p...

http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/garden/
http://www.saltworks.us/gardening-with-epsom-salt.asp

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 6, 2014 1:15 PM CST
This may be out-of-date info, but I learned that woody plants mostly use "ecto-mycorrhizae" and vegetables and herbs and flowers mostly use "endo-mycorrhizae".

Meaning, woody plant roots mostly have root fungi that live outside the root hairs but in close association with them (ecto MR). Other plants mostly have endo-mycorrhizae that penetrate INTO the plants' root hairs and even inside the cells of the root hairs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycorrhiza
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CarolineScott
Jan 6, 2014 7:25 PM CST
I don't have root rot problems so maybe MYKE is good.
I usually water seedlings once with dilute Epsom salts.
It is supposed to deter the carrot fly also.
But then some say that you have to watch, and not "over salt" the soil?

Another concern----if the soil has microbes in it----then is it already sterilized?
I usually pour dilute hydrogen peroxide through the trays of soil, when I use ordinary potting soil.
I think the hydrogen peroxide would kill off the good microbes too?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 6, 2014 7:43 PM CST
>> I think the hydrogen peroxide would kill off the good microbes too?

I would mostly expect it to kill equal numbers of "good" and "bad" microbes, but really the most it can do is reduce their numbers. Fertile, living soil has something somewhere around millions or hundreds of millions of microbes and spores per cubic inch. (I might be off by 100 or 1,000 either way, so take it with a milligram of salt.)

After all, almost one billion bacteria can fit into one cubic millimeter, and there are 16,000 cubic mm per cubic inch.

I figure that there is no such thing as "sterile" outside an operating room, Say you kill 99% or 99.9% of every germ in that potting soil. There will still be thousands or hundreds of thousands.

Maybe it just levels the playing field so that the natural advantage that plant roots give their symbiots lets them outgrow the plant pathogens.

Peroxide does donate some oxygen to the soil, and for some reason beneficial microbes tend strongly to be aerobic.

I forget if I've said anything against MR mixes above, but I don't want to speak against them. I think they're a great idea.

If we give plenty of them to young plant roots or radicles, the root hairs will take up and encourage the exact species of root fungi or root bacteria that they are compatible with. (I didn't know there were beneficial rhizobacteria, but I guess there are, and now I need to memorize how to spell THAT!)

The only downside I can think of is that we tend to pamper seedlings, and the roots only take up the MR in large numbers if they are in arid or N-poor conditions. But the idea that they displace or fight off root diseases is exciting, and hopefully remains true even in moist, fertile potting mix.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CarolineScott
Jan 6, 2014 7:49 PM CST
Thanks for all the info on microbials.
I think that I once did "Cell biology", but have no background in microbes.
Thanks I am learning from this forum.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 6, 2014 7:54 PM CST
I didn't get most of this from school - high school wasn't that advanced and in college a fungus was bigger and more complex than most of what they wanted to talk about.

I found a deeply discounted but fairly recent textbook on microbiology, about the weight of a cinder block, and it will either keep me busy for the rest of my life, or some winter it will keep me warm for a few cold nights!

Which rmeinds me of a police report I read while I lived near a college town. It started out about someone lurking in shadows, then leaping out and grabbing a young coed. I quote:

"She then struck him with her CALCULUS TEXT and the assailant fled."

Yeah!



Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
Joannabanana
Jan 6, 2014 7:56 PM CST
Epsom Salts is not a "salt". It does not change the pH. Epsom Salt crystals looks like salt and that is the only thing that equates Epsom Salts to Salt and alkalinity.
from http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/epsom-uses-benefits.asp
"What is Epsom salt?
Epsom Salt
Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.
What Is Salt?
Common salt, or sodium chloride, is the chemical compound NaCl. Salt occurs naturally in many parts of the world as the mineral halite and as mixed evaporites in salt lakes. "

Epsom Salt is: magnesium sulfate
Common Salt is: sodium chloride





Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CarolineScott
Jan 6, 2014 8:00 PM CST
I beg to differ with you Joanne---Epsom salt is a salt of two ions.
Magnesium ion and sulphate ion.
It will increase the salt content of soil.
A solution of Epsom salt will conduct electric current.

There are many more salts than the Sodium chloride one.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 6, 2014 8:21 PM CST
A chemist would agree with Caroline. Anything that is ionic and soluble, they call "a salt". It's not the name of just one compound to them, it's a class of compounds.

In everyday usage, "salt" used as a proper name means specifically "table salt", i.e. Sodium Chloride. If an omelet recipe calls for salt, they mean food-grade sodium chloride, not magnesium sulfate or ferric hydroxide.

Sometimes in soil science, it seems that when THEY say salt, they mean soluble and ionic, but NOT of value to plants. Thus N, P, K and Sulfate, Ferric and Magnesium ions might not be called "slaty" or 'saliizing since plants will take them up, out of the soil, and utilize them.

But a chemist who is not into soils WOULD call them "salts".

The meaning of word partly depends on who is saying it, or why.


Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CarolineScott
Jan 6, 2014 10:50 PM CST
Thanks Rick.
There are some slightly soluble salts too.
These can lead to complex equilibria in soils.
Many "soil gurus" forget about these, and over simplify the soil chemistry.

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Seeds forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Lilium 'Pink Perfection'"