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Mycorrhizal Fungi - is there any difference between brands?



  • BraidmanBraidman Posts: 245
    When this magic ingredient came out at first, I won a £20 bag as a gardening  show prize!

    I used it on my indoor tomatoes, different varieties, worst tomato plants ever and almost no tomatoes, wasted season!

    Never again, no doubt some one will say it should not have been used for toms, but it was and didn't work!

    You live and learn, thank goodness I did not pay for it!
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,549
    If you look at how to grow fungi, the sterilisatin steps are huge and very important, I doubt dropping some spores in hole will do much, what is already there will take over.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,917
    Don't waste your money on it.. another money making racket to make you spend another fiver at the checkout... I notice they've recently closed the gap in the market by introducing one now for Rhododendrons... it didn't take them long, I expect there will be one to sprinkle over your daff bulbs next,  and you know people  have been planting roses all over the world for thousands of years, this stuff arrived on the scene about 5  years ago...and you are now told you can't plant a rose without it... 

    ... it has some use to alleviate rose replant syndrome, but only modest in my experience, it doesn't replace changing the soil,   and it may be beneficial for own root roses, but always remember it's the very capable wild rootstock you're usually spreading this over, and knowing 'laxa' rootstock, it really doesn't need it.. this will grow well in all our soils, including chalk, sand, acid, even poor ground where no worms can be seen.. done that...  'laxa' doesn't care..  it's preying on gardeners who have been told it's necessary..

    I'm talking from experience, I've used packets and packets of this stuff, they've had their money's worth out of me, I was a true believer in this product and gave it my best shot.. . @jamesharcourt .. been there, done that... I planted two roses the same, one with soil amendment one with 'MF'... dug them up after a few weeks, the rose with soil amendment had lots of white roots growing.. the one with MF - nothing, nada.. it was the same as when I planted it..

    I plant and replant roses here all the time, and I've experimented with this stuff over about 4 years, using David Austin and Empathy/Rootgrow brands, and I have come to the conclusion it's efficacy is not worth the extra expense... you can also get it free with handfuls of leaf mould especially from around Oak trees if you have any nearby, or chopped lawn turf if available..

    I always use a good mix of soil amendment composts in my planting holes to cover the you would as if potting it up...that costs something, but at least it works..
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,306
    Hmm, just ordered some before I read the last few posts, oh well, if it’s a waste of time it didn’t cost very much. It’s for bare root roses, some of which are to be replanted in existing rose holes because I’m doing a bit of shuffling round. My soil is heavy clay and not great, but I do amend it well. Interesting about the leaf litter/oak leaves Marlorena as I have plenty of those, so perhaps I will chuck some of that into the mix as well!
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,917
    edited November 2018
    If you're replanting roses then it does have some use in that case Nollie, and there's no point in wasting it.... it won't do any harm that's for sure..

    My soil is also high in available phosphorus - I've had it tested twice at 50.1 mg per litre - so I don't even use bone meal these days...   I'm sure your roses are going to look just great whatever you do...
  • AlchemistAlchemist Self IsolationPosts: 265
    edited November 2018
    Interesting discussion. When I looked into this, as others have mentioned, MF was found markedly beneficial when there was a phosphorous deficiency (industrial farming or impoverished soil) and under these conditions MF was found to be of help and inaddition reduce the amount of P required as amendment. On the contrary abundance of phosphorous was found to be counterproductive for MF colonization.... based on my soil condition I have stopped using MF. 

    Regarding MF being of use in rose replant, I wonder if this comes down solely to selective nutrient/micronutrient depletion by rose and MF supporting the process of reaquiring nutrients by colonization...... 
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,917
    Rose replant syndrome is something that occurs mainly in European gardens, I'm not sure about Australia, but in N. America it rarely occurs, they can plant and replant to their hearts content without any soil amendments... it appears to be something in our soils which poisons the ground for an incoming plant of the same family, be it apple, pyracantha, rose etc...    It has been shown that sterilization of the soil before replanting cures the problem, which implies that it's living organisms that cause it,  rather than nutrient deficiency as such..

    I've noticed that even using MF, in most cases, not all, the rose will still languish and perform poorly in the first year... and only by lifting it and moving to a fresh site will resolve the issue, whereby you notice almost immediately it takes off, as if given a new lease of life, having sat there and done nothing for a whole year previously in the replant site..

    When the Historic Roses Group were allowed to replant a rose border at Hampton Court,  they used 'MF' to replant the fresh new roses... they reported that the roses hadn't grown much in the first year...   and yet this is supposed to be some kind of wonder drug for roses....
  • AlchemistAlchemist Self IsolationPosts: 265
    edited November 2018
    That’s interesting. Thanks. 

    If it’s living, perhaps a can full of jeyes fluid should sort it out? When I spray it on my patio, invariably I get some on the lawn/plants and haven’t noticed any bad effects on their growth so can’t be that bad. Additionally I’ve read that on the past it was used for controlling black spots ( haven’t dared to spray it on any plant) and also as a tree wash! I have a new dawn rose that’s been in a pot for the past 2 years in the pot it came in and I have another rose from our previous owners that’s doesn’t do much and have considered getting rid of it. I’ll try this and report, if it ends up as a bad joke. 
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,917
    I don't think you should use Jeyes Fluid....  here are a couple of quotes from RHS about it, just to put forward a more professional, authoritative view...   mine is based solely on my own experiences..

    ''It is believed to be caused by a build-up of soil pests and pathogens during the life of the first planting. Fungal root diseases and nematodes (eelworms) are favourite suspects.

    No chemical soil sterilants are available to home gardeners. Soil sterilisation by steam is possible, but difficult and expensive to organise.''

    Most people who care about these things usually do one of 3 things... change as much soil as you can, bringing some in from elsewhere in the garden, plus additional compost amendments.

    Using a small cardboard box which will rot down in time.. plant rose in this with compost amendments..

    Use either of the above with additional 'MF' sprinkled over the roots... as I said before, I have found this to be disappointing and of limited use when used on its own...

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,306
    I saw rose replant boxes for sale on the Peter Beales site and thought the idea hilarious, Marlorena - ok maybe it helps insulate the rose from the pests and pathogens you mention, but why would you pay for a ‘special’ cardboard box to be delivered (and pay for postage and packing of said box presumably) when its just a cardboard box that many of us have far too many to recycle from online purchases in any case?

    I think cleaning the soil with Jeyes sounds a terrible idea, who knows what good bacteria and stuff you will be killing off? If I were a worm I dont think I would like it much either :/  

    I will do as you suggest M and swap the soil in that area with some from another part of the garden as well as add the MF since I bought it anyway!
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