I’m thinking of using some that you mix with water since I’m repotting most of my trees this year. Thoughts?
I have some commercial powder I’ve been adding to my mix. so I don’t think a sprinkle does any damage.we don’t really understand what’s fully going on in tree root system so forests.
I use fox farms microbe brew every watering for 2 weeks after repotting. I’ve noticed a big difference in recovery time, especially with the ones where the root work is more severe. They bounce back faster and grow much better. After they reestablish themselves I use monthly. I plan to switch from my homemade 5-4-6 to fox farms 5-5-5 with humic and myrcorrhiza this year.
Easy answer… yes, I use several products. I have gotten good results, with caviats…
- innoculating the soil with live fungi and bacteria is only the first part. ALSO, once in the pot, they grow and reproduce if nurtured properly. You probably do not need to add more very often. IT IS NOT FERTILIXER. The organisins can be killed; die due to neglect (heat, dry, overwatering …), even eaten by soil bugs…
- For every good organism you add, there will be dozens of indifferent ones, probably several bad. AND maybe, one nasty one will sneak in, too. You WILL see odd changes in the soil. I had a white truffle grow in one of my oak forests. Dean_Kelly’s photo above IS a little scary. Not my call.
- Inorganic fertilizers are salts. These alter the soil properties; killing some soil orgsnisms. Go organic. Be aware of your water pH and chlorine content. Dont be obsessive, be proactive.
- Keep antifungals and antibiotics off the soil! DO keep them handy for a quick strike nuclear option.
- Beware under-composted humis potting soil. It could have nasty chemicals and bacteria. SMELL IT. Should smell like good fresh turned soil.
This subject gets deep, real quick. Reading the articles about the forest communicating by fungal myceliem… I have understood this my whole life. The forest is sentient, just not talking to us in a way we can comprehend. What? You have never had a tree slap you silly?
Listen to your trees. They will tell you what they want. Listen to your gut microbiom, too, just be quiet and mindfull…hummm… good organic salad, vegies, some steak, a little icecream, and another beer…
Using the technology in bonsai does seem to help. Dont just throw it on and expect exciting results. Cultivating a happy organic microbiom is hard, frustrating, rewarding, and sometimes nasty. Ever have toenail fungus Or skin infections on your hands? I’ve seen several posts of slime mold on trees.(Not extremely deadly by the way.)
The OPPERANT point is to introduced specific fungi and bacteria the tree can bond with. Symbiotic relationships. I have gone out and collected fungi growing on wild Ponderosa. Mine are doing great! I always throw a handfull of old soil to a repot. This is also why you don’t bareroot a pine. Standard bonsai practices will get you where you want. The microbes will be there AUTOMATICALLY. That is how nature works. Humans can help it along where we can. Beware snake oil products! Caviet emptor…
There is info on this site. Do some reading. Google has tons of info. Rely on the professional publications, and less on U-tube. Educate yourself. I personally have only scratched the surface of whats out there!
As stated earlier in another thread, I have a bucket of mixed myco that I only use on trees that I repot outside of sporing season. The myco is mixed with shredded coconut choir so you just sprinkle a couple spoonfuls on the roots when repotting.
Inside or close enough to the sporing season, I don’t even bother as the pots will get colonized rapidly without any action on my part. Granted, there’s a wide variety mature trees in all parts of my garden so our conditions may be different
A big reason why liquid mineral fertilizers aren’t recommended with mycorrhiza is that a large amount of available phosphates make the plant restrict the partnership. It doesn’t kill the spores or the mycorrhiza, the plant simply limits the relationship because it isn’t that beneficial in those conditions. Slow release mineral ferts shouldn’t have the issue, based on the experience of a friend using osmocote.
Another reason why mycorrhiza are important in the soil is that the decay of the mycellium produces glomalin and glomalin-related soil proteins. Those increase the carbon retention of the soil, along with nutrient retention and a few other benefits. Glomalin and GRSP increase the fertility of the soil.
Another interesting relationship to try is humic/fulvic acid addition. Adding those to the equation does increase nutrient intake, which is useful when you are trying to develop the trunk line and the primary ramification. Humic acid chelates available metals/minerals in the soil to make them easily available to the plant, fulvic acid also increases the plant’s oxygen intake and chlorophyll production (resulting in increased photosynthesis). Of course, it only really becomes a factor once you’re on top of your soil mix, your watering and your fertilization…
would you have further experience to share on thr actual application of the humic/fulvic acids?
question on application here. I do add the fungi after having planted the tree and the initial thorough watering. My rationale is, that when watering until it runs clear i have potentially washed out most of the applied fungi also.
I add some to the roots while repotting in the powdered form always. Better yet I have a very healthy white pine that is always producing a huge amount of mycorrhiza. I use a few pinches of the established colony to the other pines when repotting and it grows much faster .
The application is humic acid in the soil, fulvic acid in foliar spray. Grow shops tend to have both in liquid form, but I prefer adding the humic acid in solid form.
Neudorf used to sell a soil amendment named Fulhumin which contains basalt powder and humin (powdered lignite breaks down into humic acid, which breaks down into humin). It neutralizes strong smells, corrects the pH and increases nitrogen (and copper/zinc) uptake. I bought a 20lbs bag years ago, when I was using strong smelling organic fertilizers and there’s still enough in it for quite a few years.
In liquid form, you can apply humic acid at repotting time, then weekly/bi-weekly [half dose, full dose] with a liquid fertilizer. Any liquid organic fertilizer containing beet vinasse or beet pulp will add humic acid to your soil if the solution is retained long enough. Similarly, many solid organic fertilizers will introduce humic acid through their breakdown (solid to mush, mush to humus, …).
The fulvic acid that drips to the soil should eventually break down into humic acid as well, if it’s retained long enough.
I’ve read a few scientific papers on the effect of humic acid on plant growth. The most promising paper was a PhD thesis using pelargonium seedlings for a 28 days experiment. A group of seedlings were in the growing conditions (same exposition, same watering, same fertilizer), 4 seedlings in each group (control, 6 groups of increasing concentrations of humic acid).
All concentrations of humic acid improved plant growth, with the 45 mg/L-1 group producing 50% more mass than the control group. The 50 mg/L-1 produced less mass than the 45 mg/L-1 group. The author didn’t know if this was coming for genetic differences or if 45 mg/L-1 was the best ratio.
I would have preferred the experiment to use cuttings instead of seedlings, in order to remove the genetic variations from the equation… but it wasn’t my experiment and I have never defended a PhD thesis
thank you a lot for the additional information and application suggestion.
You’re welcome Gregor!
Normally addition of humic only gets important when you’ve hit the limit of nutrient the plant will take by itself. Foliar fulvic would definitely benefit the plant in any case.
#ndavila80, Curious of your use of the microbe brew, sounds promising, How do you dilute the product for use?
I use the microbe brew at a rate of 5ml per gallon with each watering for 2 weeks post repot.
Then I use it combined with 5ml liquid humic acid, 5ml of seaweed extract and 5ml of Dr earth liquid fertilizer. every 1 - 2 weeks during active growth phases.
@Michael_P summed up the regimen pretty well.
I just ordered some microbe brew
I use a granular mycorrhizal inoculant when potting, including deciduous. This kind of product:
Then I occasionally supplement with liquid mycorrhiza thereafter, especially in the first few months after repotting. This kind of product:
I have no idea at all if it works or does anything to benefit the trees. But i’m fine with giving it a try on the chance it might.