Inocucor Garden Solution

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Ray

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Quick question, have you guys used Innocucor? Curious to hear if it helps or not with seedlings. There haven been many cultural convos in a while.
The use of Inocucor Garden Solution definitely helps the survival of ex-flask seedlings, and I think the impact is multi-faceted.

The obvious factor is that the seedlings have lived their entire lives in a sterile environment. What, then, is the purpose of dipping them into a fungicide? They aren't contaminated, and fungicides do not impart resistance. Treating them with the Inocucor product, on the other hand, immediately imparts protection by introducing beneficial bacteria and fungi (which predate pathogenic ones) into the rhizosphere, closely followed by "infecting" the plants. The former population acts as a barrier, while the latter is sort-of and "add-on immune system" to help with any pathogens that do make it into the plant.

Plus, once there is a population of microorganism established, they actually transfer nutrients into the plant, augmenting natural root absorption. (In nature, it is that process that pumps sugars into orchid seed so they can germinate.)

Then there's the boost factor. Some of the microcritters have indole acetic acid as a metabolic byproduct, and that is an auxin that stimulates growth. Granted, it's not nearly as effective as KelpMax, but a boost is a boost.

I sell a lot of Inocucor to breeders - Dave Sorokowsky (Paph Paradise) just bought a bunch a couple of days ago, as he told me he has 150 flasks to open...

The bottle I have is expired? Does that make sense? Can probiotics expire?

Of course that makes sense. It is a bottle of live creatures. After a certain period of time, they will overpopulate, consume all available food, and die. If it smells like sewage rather than having a sweet, fermenting-beer smell, it's gone.

It has a shelf life of about 18 months from manufacture, but that can be extended through refrigeration, or by adding a small amount of diluted carbon in the form of chlorine-free water in which you've dissolved a bit of molasses or maple syrup. Adding a splash of KelpMax to that helps too; kelp is part of the original charge in the manufacturing process.
 

Ray

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My Personal Experience

Let me add some of my personal experience using the stuff:

While my purchase of flasks was infrequent, and likely done now, as I have reverted to windowsill growing, the few that I have done had virtually 100% survival. I say "virtual" as there have occasionally been seedlings extracted that had no roots, or I damaged them in the untangling process, so I wouldn't expect them to live anyway.

My experience with landscaping annuals is pretty impressive, too. In PA, we routinely put New Guinea impatiens in our flower beds. They would typically grow, succumb to a mold or mildew a bit, then mostly recover. After being asked to resell Inocucor, I tried it on the impatiens. 1:100 dilution was sprayed on them, wetting all of the leaves to the runoff point, immediately after planting. No rots occurred whatsoever, and the plants flourished. I repeated that for the 5 spring plantings while we were still there, with the same result.

I had a beautiful, big maple in my front yard that started dropping leaves. Soon thereafter, a population of mushrooms appeared all around it, and it died, costing me a bundle to have removed. Fast forward a couple of years (after I started carrying Inocucor), and something similar started happening to an American ash tree.

I mixed up about 10 gallons of solution, and poured it all around the dripline. It was mid-July and most of the leaves were gone, saving only a few sprigs here and there. It didn't change all summer, and I thought it had died, as well. The next spring, it leafed out as if nothing had happened.

Last spring, my first in NC, we planted "regular" impatiens in flower boxes on our deck. With the humidity level (we're 50 feet from the Intracoastal Water Way, and about 25 miles north of the SC border), I was certain we'd be fighting rots all the time, so I sprayed the boxes when we planted them. No rots. Huge plants.

Ditto with rosemary. They grow year round here, and repel insects, in addition to being nice, flowering plants that give you fresh herb.... one of our "shrubs" got a fungus, and one spraying stopped it, and the plant carried on like nothing had happened.
 
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AdamD

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Yea you’re right about the smell. It makes sense. Probably time to try again. I don’t remember the bottle ever smelling “fresh,” that’s why I asked. Thank you for the explanation
 

Ray

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My Speculation on the Success of my Regimen

After all of the discussions we have had here, about 5-6 years ago or so, I settled on a regimen of:
  • Use a potting medium and container that allows frequent watering without suffocating the roots.
  • Use a pure water source – collected rainwater, distilled, or reverse osmosis.
  • Water frequently – the more, the better.
  • Thoroughly flood the pot at every watering.
  • Use K-Lite, (12-1-1-10Ca-3Mg) @ 25 ppm N (about 1/6 teaspoon/gallon) at every watering.
  • Add KelpMax @ 1:250 (approximately 1 tablespoon/gallon) once per month.
  • Add Inocucor Garden Solution @ 1:100 once per month (approximately 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon/gallon – I just use 3 tablespoons for simplicity).
Since doing that, I am seeing much faster growth, much healthier plants with no rot issues, with better flowering and far more branching of growths than I've ever seen. Others who follow that regimen are getting similar results, but you know me, I "have to" see if I can deduce some logical reason for that, tying it back to plants in nature. Here's what I've come up with so far:

The first four items combine to prove a moist, airy environment for the root system that remains clean of mineral buildup and plant wastes, much as tropical forest rainfall tends to be torrential, thoroughly flushing and aerating the detritus that collects around the roots of epiphytes and "semi-terrestrials" like paphs and phrags.

K-Lite’s formula mimics the nutrient mix provided by host plant exudates and accumulated airborne particulates that are flushed down from the forest canopy whenever it rains in tropical rainforests. (Please, let's not rekindle that debate. This is my rationale; you're entitled to your own.) It is also a complete formula, containing important minor, and trace elements. The low dosing provides plenty of nutrition for these slow-growing plants, while avoiding root damage or the buildup of mineral residues and wastes.

KelpMax stimulates the plants into faster growth, but maybe equally importantly, it also provides a wide array of vitamins and amino acids that fertilizers do not. In nature, these are provided by indigenous bacteria and fungi which, unfortunately, are typically not compatible with our pot-culture techniques.

The Inocucor product serves several purposes: the live microorganisms populate the potting media and the plants themselves, stimulating growth, absorbing and converting otherwise unavailable nutrients into usable compounds, and transferring them directly into the plants, supplementing the low application of fertilizer. Their metabolic byproducts also include sugars, proteins and amino acids that would naturally come from native microflora and -fauna in the wild. They also “beef up” the plants’ natural defensive capabilities as well as predating pathogens directly, resulting in plants that are relatively unstressed by diseases.
 

AdamD

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Have you noticed higher rates of flower deformity when using Kelp Max? I wish I could find the paper, there was a scholarly article linking the two (not just kelp max, all kelp fertilizer in general).
 

gego

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So Ray, these microbes from Inocucor will need to be fed. They will survive from the organic media I suppose. And probably compete with the plant for some nutrients.
If Im using an in organic media, what should I feed them?
For roots without media like hanging vanda roots, do I need to provide organic food. If they die, how can I tell, does it emit some smell?

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Ray

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Have you noticed higher rates of flower deformity when using Kelp Max? I wish I could find the paper, there was a scholarly article linking the two (not just kelp max, all kelp fertilizer in general).

Absolutely not.

Flower deformity comes about from the overuse of auxins, whether that be from overdosing, or using them too frequently.

Kelp products should not be considered to be fertilizers. That's where folks get into trouble. KelpMax, for example, when diluted to the 1 tablespoon/gallon ratio I recommend, contributes about 3-4 ppm N, so if you used it as your regular nutrient, with the application frequency needed for such a low loading, you'd "fry" the plants. Let's not forget that the herbicide 2,4-D is nothing more than a particularly powerful auxin that kills by doing just that.
 

Ray

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So Ray, these microbes from Inocucor will need to be fed. They will survive from the organic media I suppose. And probably compete with the plant for some nutrients.
If Im using an in organic media, what should I feed them?
Frankly, I doubt that the microorganisms' nutrient demand is so great that you'd ever notice competition with the plants or need to supplement your regular feeding.

For roots without media like hanging vanda roots, do I need to provide organic food. If they die, how can I tell, does it emit some smell.

I have used that regimen in all sorts of applications - potted plants in sphagnum, CHC, or bark, in baskets with no media whatsoever, and in plants grown in semi-hydroponics using inorganic, LECA media. The response was positive in all cases. Remember, you're "infecting" the plant as well as the rhizosphere.

I'm sure there's a living/reproducing/dying scenario going on - that's one reason a periodic treatment is beneficial, to boost the population. Dead bacteria and fungi in this scenario probably provide nutrition for the living ones and the plants, and do not emit any sort of odor.

There may be a lot of them, but each bacterium or fungus is only about a micron or so in size...
 

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