See the Results of Using Beneficial Microrganisms

I have some pictures in this post so ou can see with your own eyes the benefits of using  beneficial microrgansims.  There was improved plant growth rate.  This increased rate of growth continued throughout the plants life cycle.  Plants with the microorganisms were larger, produced more fruit at a faster rate compared to those that did not have any beneficial microorgansims.  They say a picture is worth 1000 words, and seeing is believing, so here you go.  I used plant height as a measure in this post, but there are a number of different things you can measure to test the affects of products on plant growth

You can see the benefit already at the seedling stage  The seedlings on the left (With beneficial organisms added to the soil) are statistically larger.  Remember this is a scientific experiment, all other conditions (light, water, temperature, medium grown in etc.) are the same, so the reason for the difference is due to the addition of microorgansims like Stump Tea.

Sorry about the yellowish color, these plants are under a 600W HPS with a sun soaker reflector.

 You can see the benefits continue, the group on the left has shown an increased growth rate.  The plants on the left have an aditional node and are about 2cm or about an inch taller

You must always have a control group, and you must take careful measurements to determine if a product is actually improving plant growth.  Don't be afraid to try a new product, but test it to see if it worth it.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


Knowing about the Rhizosphere will Improve Plant Growth II

This is the continuation of a post on the rhizosphere.
The rhizosphere can be thought of as a small ecosystem with several feeding (trophic) levels.

1) Plants elucidation (excretion) is the base of the food web for most organisms in the rhizosphere. Plants secretions are food for many microorganisms. If you are providing the optimal amount of light and carbon dioxide, plants should be conducting photosynthesis which will fuel all the physiological reactions needed for plants to improve the rhizosphere with their secretions.

2) Bacteria (some nitrogen fixers, others cycle nutrients) These are the organisms that eat the secretions, the herbivores if you will. Some of their secretions are nitrogen in a usable form for plants, or other nutrients. These are the types of organisms found in products like Stump Tea and Roots Organics.

3) Microfauna are organisms usually protozoans that are less than 0.1mm. These often eat bacteria, these would be considered the carnivores of the rhizosphere ecosystem. These organisms can eat bad bacteria, and their secretions can benefit plants as well. They often convert nitrogen and other nutrients to a more usable form by plants. To be honest there is a lot yet to be learned about all the possible interactions that occur in the rhizosphere.
There are also symbiotic relationships in the soil. Mycorrhizae fungus can form a relationship with plants so that the plants provide the fungus carbohydrates (via photosynthesis) and the fungus provides nutrients to the plant since it has smaller ends (hyphae) that can get nutrients from the soil better than plant roots.
There are always exceptions in biology, and one should always do scientific experiments but one thing has been shown to be true: Soil’s with increased biological diversity have increased nutrient cycling and stability. This means you should try to add many beneficial organisms to your soil, there is no real down side to it.
Please see my post with links to various products that increase the beneficial organisms in your soil or hydroponics system.
Good Growing.
Dr, E.R. Myers


Knowing about the Rhizosphere will Improve Plant Growth

Good growers should know what the rhizosphere is. The rhizosphere is the area around plant roots that is associated with plant secretions and microorganisms (beneficial bacterial etc.). The rhizosphere is the area where most biological activity takes place in the soil; the place where plant roots and mycorrhizal fungi interact. This is the place where you can really make a difference in your plant growth! It is basically the area right next to plant roots. Many chemicals are secreted by plants which affect the rhizosphere, and intern the various organisms use these chemicals and secrete their own chemicals which will help or hinder plant growth. A basic understanding of these chemicals can help you be a good grower.
There are many types of functional chemicals made in the rhizosphere; some basic functions of these chemicals are:
1) Weather parent material: Some plants secrete chemicals that break down rock and other minerals. These chemicals are not going to be needed by most indoor growers.

2) Solubilize nutrients (chelation): These chemicals help with absorption of nutrients from the soil. Many products include chelates. Not all chelates will work for all plants, so as always you will need to do a scientific experiment to determine if the chelates in the product you buy actually benefit your plants.

3) Glue material of soil into aggregates: These aggregates or clumps help with water holding and drainage as well as hold nutrients. Nutrients will be held in theinterior of aggregates (preventing leaching) and these aggregates provide habitat for microfauna (beneficial bacterial). Good Growers will experiment with various mediums to improve soil structure, but plants will also alter the soil structure in the rhizosphere to benefit themselves. Again, this is why it is so important to scientifically experiment and COMPARE mediums and products to find what is best for your plants and your grow environment.

4) Reduce pathogens: This function can greatly help growers. The buildup of beneficial bacteria reduces the amount of harmful bacterial around the roots. These beneficial bacteria will compete with and/or eat the bad microorganisms that will harm your plants.

5) Some plants secrete allelochemicals from their roots: These are chemicals which inhibit the growth of other organisms; some plants will prevent germination of seeds with their chemical secretions. These chemicals will not be useful to most indoor growers. However, I think it is important to know. Many people think plants are simply green things that don’t do much. They are constantly interacting with the soil and each other and there is a constant altering of their environment on a chemical level.

Please read the next post on the rhizosphere and the microorgansims that live there.
Good Growing
Dr. E. R. Myers


One of my Favorite Growing Tools

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I previously posted about breeding equipment, and stated that one of my favorite grow tools is a magnifying lens.  I have been using a magnifying lens from HTGSupply.com that I think is awesome and I highly recomend it.  This light tool has two little LED lights which really makes it easy to look at the small parts of plants.  Often times I had to move the plant, or myself, or both to get enough light on the area of the plant I was looking at.  Not any more.  If you have not used a magnifying lens, it is worth a try and the best one I have used so far is the one sold by HTGSupply.com

Good Growing
Dr. E.R. Myers