Re: [tomato] Tomato Digest V1 #154 (
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 14:33:12 EST

In a message dated 2/27/99 12:18:46 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< I am sharing my personal gardening experiences.  >>

And I, for one, am glad you did.  It is sometimes difficult to share your
thoughts about your personal experience on many of the gardening lists because
a couple of the rudest people are on nearly all of the gardening lists and
behave the same way on all of the ones they are on.  Their rude comments are
apparently based on nothing but what they think about other people's
experience which counts for nothing compared to theirs.    While I am most
grateful to Chuck for recommending and sharing some of his seeds, which are
the only seeds I plan to grow this year, he has also offered to sell his
products on this list and has offered no scientific studies, only his own
experience to "prove" their worth.  

I earned a BS in Biology while I was in Juneau, and my particular interest was
mycorrhiza.  I corresponded with some of the leading scientists in the country
as well as read all the literature on the subject. 

The word mycorrhiza literally means fungus-root and refers to this type of
fungi's habit of growing intimately associated with the roots of plants.  From
what I read, they now believe that all plants use mycorrhiza to some extent,
but some more than others.  The first type of mycorrhiza to be discovered was
ectomycorrhiza which exists outside the cells of the plant root.  Later
endomycorrhiza were discovered which live inside the root's cells.
Endomycorrhiza are often associated with annual plants like corn and grasses
which were first believed not to use mycorrhiza at all.  Some plants, like
orchids and members of the heather family, including blueberries, are so
heavily mycorrhiza-dependent that they may not grow at all without mycorrhiza.
Mycorrhiza, in fact, are believed to actually do most of the mineral and water
absorption for the plant.  Most of the functions that most people believe
roots do are actually done by mycorrhiza.

I remember some dramatic results that were shown in a scientifc experiment
performed by the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon.  The Douglas Firs doubled
their growth with mycorrhiza.  In fact, they found that when squirrels eat the
mushrooms produced my mycorrhizal fungi, the spores of the fungus passed
unchanged through their systems, ready to sprout when they hit the ground.
They also found that the first place trees return to an area that has been
logged is along the path that the squirrels take, and this is believed to be
due to the association of mycorrhiza with the tree seeds and seedlings.  

 To the untrained eye, mushrooms are seldom seen.  But to the trained eye, the
fungus that produces mushrooms is everywhere.  The mushroom is the fruit, and
just as the apple tree remains when the tree is gone, the fungi is still
there.   Some people, therefore, may not believe that mycorrhiza need to be
added, but those Douglas Fir experiments in Oregon showed that additional
mycorrhiza did produce results.  I would be glad to hear more about your
product, and since you are working with it and tomatoes, believe that it is
list-worthy.  Thanks again for sharing.

Linda Kuczwanski