chemical fertilizer and fungus

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I think that this should be more of a poll because there is just to much conflicting information out there.
Does a chemical fertilizer kill benificial fungus like Michorrizae? I have been organic with everything for years but I enjoy the benefits of Miracid for acid loving species, I try not to use it often because I just dont want to risk killing the plants soil buddies.

Any myth busters out there for this one?
 

Martin Sweeney

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FourMileMarc,

For what it's worth, I have used nothing but miracle grow and osmocote on my trees for a couple of years now. They just work with how I am able to work on my collection. I have nothing against organics. Also, the dogs in the area eat what I have used right out of the pots, I assumed it was the bonemeal. So, I started using chemical and continue to. A new house or a fence budget might prompt a re-evaluation of how I fertilize, but until then, I am sticking with what I am currently doing.

That said, I have had abundant mychorizae growth in my pine's pots the whole time. Would I have had more with organic? Quite possibly.

Regards,
Martin
 

Dav4

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I think mycorrhizae are sensitive to the ph of the soil. I believe they prefer slightly acid soil, maybe around ph 5-6. I suppose that adding enough miracid, along with other amendments that might increase acidity could potentially harm the fungus. Brent from Evergreengardenworks probably knows this, so he'll hopefully confirm.

Dave
 

Rick Moquin

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I think that this should be more of a poll because there is just to much conflicting information out there.
Does a chemical fertilizer kill benificial fungus like Michorrizae? I have been organic with everything for years but I enjoy the benefits of Miracid for acid loving species, I try not to use it often because I just dont want to risk killing the plants soil buddies.

Any myth busters out there for this one?
FWIW mycorrhizea does not occur in acid loving plants, at least to my knowledge. Fertilizer is fertilizer when it comes to fertilizer, regardless of the flavour. If the fertilizer is applied within prescribed ratios, it is not harmful to the plant nor the symbiotic fungus growth associated with said plant.
 

Tachigi

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I concur with Rick, Marc. Well I might differ on the part of acid loving plants slightly. However, I have drenched , soaked, and force feed my trees water soluble chemical ferts for years along with a slow release organic fert. Never had a problem with mycorrhiza disappearing. In fact this spring I repotted several trees that looked like they had styrofoam packed in the roots.
 
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FWIW mycorrhizea does not occur in acid loving plants, at least to my knowledge.
This is not true, in fact mycorrhizae can indeed even help a plant tolerate high soil acidity. It seems that both main types (ectomycorrhizal fungi and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal) are helpful in this area as well as helping to remove toxic metals from the soil.

Remember that pines and conifers often require acidity and Miracid actually advertises itself for evergreens, the species where mycorrhizae is familiar to most people...

Some interesting reading for those who want to know more...

http://www-icom2.slu.se/ABSTRACTS/Cuenca.html
http://www.greenmediaonline.com/aa/1997/0497/497treeroots.html
http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/fertiliz.htm


Will
 
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All good replies here. There are some species of plants that require it and they would never make it in most landscapes if that were the case (chemical ferts killing fungus). I guess I could have answered my own question with that one.:D I use Osmocote for acid plants for some of my conifers but I am pretty light on it. I'll try incorporating occasional Miracid treatments for the junipers next year.
 
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