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Rick

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I ran into the local Worms Way guys at our Lawn and Garden show in Nashville.

They specialize in equipment and supplies for hydroponic growing, and they have tons of stuff for indoor and GH growers. Much of the same equipment like light, pH, TDS meters, hygrometers and humidity/temp controllers, and mega lighting.

Anyway one of their guys is into orchids and said he's been using mycorrhizal fungi inoculates with great success. Says they are fantastic at promoting root growth and health. It makes sense to me given the natural relationship between orchids and these fungi.

Anyone else try these products?
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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While I have seen mycorrhizae offered for sale in catalogs, it always came with the disclaimer that it was for outdoor trees and shrubs, so I never tried it....Eric
 

Rick

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While I have seen mycorrhizae offered for sale in catalogs, it always came with the disclaimer that it was for outdoor trees and shrubs, so I never tried it....Eric
These guys sell several products that are applicable to indoor/potted plant, hydroponic systems, and outdoor trees and shrubs.
 

Kyle

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I was talking to a guy in San Francisco who uses the stuff. He thinks it has made his plants stronger.

Kyle
 

Yoyo_Jo

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I've used a product containing organic mycorrhizal fungi called "Mykes" on trees and shrubs; I see they now have it for annuals, perennials and house plants. Will have to investigate this further...never thought about using it for orchids.
 
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Ernie

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Says they are fantastic at promoting root growth and health. It makes sense to me given the natural relationship between orchids and these fungi.
Never tried it. Being devil's advocate :evil: would these fungi make for fewer, lazier roots??? Roots go out in search of water, anchorage, and nutrients. The easier it is to get these, the fewer roots are needed, yes? Energetically speaking, it would be silly to spend the energy to make new roots when some disillusioned fungus is feeding me anyway. :) Or, do the roots get triggered by the fungus instead of the end product (food, water, a home)??? Hormones, on the other hand, trick the plant into thinking it's telling itself to make more roots. I DON'T KNOW- just stirring the pot in my request for experimental data if any. I'll shoosh now, it's late and I just took a shot of NyQuil (cough, cough, wheeze, honk, snore, zzzzzzzzzzz).

-Ernie
 
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charlie c

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Anyone else try these products?
Rick,

The idea sounded good to me too. So last spring I tried a Pro-Mix product containing endomycorrhize. Did a side-by-side on a couple of Zygo. species (intermedium and triste) using my usual soilless mix on the other half. Because this genus seems to really like this kind of mix, I thought it would provide a good test.

They started slower in the Pro-Mix but then surged and ultimately by fall everything was about the same size. My bride tried some mixed into an annual bed outside and she liked the results. But on the bench, I was underwhelmed.

Don't know if the temperature is a factor because they seemed to do best in the heat of summer. Or if it's just a case of having to match the right fungus with the right genus.

charlie c
 

Rick

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OK

Whether it helps or not seems debatable, but at least its not killing anything.

The stuff is pretty cheap, so I think I'll try it. The products I'm looking at contain both endo and exo mycorrhizal species.

Supposedly it promotes root growth,and with otherwise stronger root base the plants are supposed to be more vigourous and productive. I don't think they are claiming faster growth.

It may increase disease resistence and reduce tendency for root rot, which we would typically not see results in short term growth tests.
 
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charlie c

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OK

Whether it helps or not seems debatable, but at least its not killing anything.

The stuff is pretty cheap, so I think I'll try it. The products I'm looking at contain both endo and exo mycorrhizal species.

Supposedly it promotes root growth,and with otherwise stronger root base the plants are supposed to be more vigourous and productive. I don't think they are claiming faster growth.

It may increase disease resistence and reduce tendency for root rot, which we would typically not see results in short term growth tests.
Rick,

Please, update this thread when you gain some experience with the product.
I, for one, am still intrigued with the idea and would appreciate knowing your results.

charlie c
 

Rick

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OK
Just received a box of Plant Success "soluble" inoculant. Made for hydroponic application.

Contains:
11 species of Ectomycorrhiza fungi
9 species of Endomycorrhiza
2 species of Tricoderma fungi
19 species of beneficial bacteria

Ought to be something in it for everyone!

I will probably start using it before the end of the week.
 

Roth

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Tried and tested for you !

So I tried the Trichoderma fungus on my side, several brands, in at that time a Bas van Buuren bark/cocochips/Peat/Lime/Fertilizer (the "very old style" coconut, that was great and did not harm the plants), and in what we could call a kind of Promix. Both of them I used for many years at that time.

For some plants "not from seed", it killed many, many roots ( they were already infected by a symbotic fungus I guess). The remaining of the results, I got some strange chlorosis and weird growth on several of those products. Trichoderma promoted as well a much faster breakdown of the mix.

First, one has to remember that trichoderma harzianum is as well a PLANT pathogen for some of the strains. And the purity of many, if not most of the products on the market is subject to a big question !

Second, everyone conditions is different, some people use with great success rootshield, a trichoderma containing product. But I think that it has to be tested on a couple of plants. Eventually, I had to use an extremely strong fungicide to get rid of this trichoderma, and the plants restarted to grow properly a few months later.
 

Rick

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I'll need to be cautious.

T harzianum, and T koningii are the Tricoderma species listed. The main interest in these apparently is for breakdown of old cellulose, and there ability to fight off other plant pathogens.

Also the Tricoderma species only comprise 5% of the total species listed, so they will need to be disproportionately aggressive to cause problems in this mix.
 

Roth

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I'll need to be cautious.

T harzianum, and T koningii are the Tricoderma species listed. The main interest in these apparently is for breakdown of old cellulose, and there ability to fight off other plant pathogens.

Also the Tricoderma species only comprise 5% of the total species listed, so they will need to be disproportionately aggressive to cause problems in this mix.

It's unfortunately not working that way. Unlike salt where you add 1g/L and end up with 1g/L if you let the solution standing, those are actually living organisms, to they will proliferate for sure in the mix. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Fusarium spores, you require less than 5000/cubic meter of substrate to doom anything you will pot in !
 

Rick

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It's unfortunately not working that way. Unlike salt where you add 1g/L and end up with 1g/L if you let the solution standing, those are actually living organisms, to they will proliferate for sure in the mix. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Fusarium spores, you require less than 5000/cubic meter of substrate to doom anything you will pot in !
I realize that, I work with fish pathogens on a similar basis. I also know that if you add a complex mixture of microbes to a solution of fish pathogens, that the pathogens are neutralized ( tested this in my lab myself). So we will just have to give it a test. I googled some studies (not by product manufacturers) that indicated that combinations of mycorrhiza with Tricoderma are more beneficial to the test species than inoculants of individual species. So thanks for the warning, I'll proceed cautiously.
 

Roth

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I realize that, I work with fish pathogens on a similar basis. I also know that if you add a complex mixture of microbes to a solution of fish pathogens, that the pathogens are neutralized ( tested this in my lab myself). So we will just have to give it a test. I googled some studies (not by product manufacturers) that indicated that combinations of mycorrhiza with Tricoderma are more beneficial to the test species than inoculants of individual species. So thanks for the warning, I'll proceed cautiously.
My concern against:

- Paphs have mycorrhizal and bacterial cooperation. So I would worry if it could induce an imbalance...

And for:

- Seedlings grown in a greenhouse which has quite a few wild paphs plants grow much better, faster and stronger than those grown in "aseptic" conditions. So there is something to dig up anyway regarding supply of microorganisms.

One warning, be careful to "split" the tested plants, so if there is any mess, it is not going to contaminate everything around !
 

naoki

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Bringing up an old thread.

We've been talking about rhizosphere fauna recently (Mike Stone's vermicomposting, Paphioboy's EM thread, Ray's Innocucor thread). This kinds of topic seems to pop up occasoinally, but I started to get interested in those probiotics and started to try vemicomposting and EM-1 (I'm not expecting too much, but just for fun).

I came to this thread by Rick, and I'm wondering if others have tried Trichoderma harzianum (Rootshield). I heard that Marni Turkel has been using Rootshield for regular prevention and for deflasking. So I decided to get a small packet.

One thing missing in the old conversation here is that different strains of Trichoderma attacks different species of pathogenic fungi. So different products may have different effects.

Any good or bad experience with Trichoderma?

Also, Rootshield is kind of expensive, so I looked into how to home-brew (similar to brewing EM-1). According to this paper (I'm not sure if it is visible to everyone), you can brew Trichoderma with wheat bran.

1. Mix wheat bran with tap water (1:2 volume ratio).
2. pressure cook for 1 hour
3. repeat step 2 next day
4. put the Trichoderma (after the bran mix is cool), and keep it warm (30C) for a week or so.

They seem to use 12h /day illumination during the incubation. The prepared stock can be stored in fridge or room temp, and the spore was viable even after 6 months (80% viability).
 

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