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[nafex] Tomatoes & Mycorrhizae

Tom Olenio wrote:
I also used it tomatoes and we did see increased drought tolerance.  I
would not recommend the use of mycorrhizal fungi on Roma tomatoes though.
Standard tomatoes faired well through the drought, but Roma suffered
terrible blossom end rot.  I think is is due to the shape of Roma
tomatoes (guess).

No.  The Roma tomatoes had blossom end rot for the same reason every tomato
get it--lack of calcium.  The drought you speak of depleted soil moisture.
Most every soil has plenty of calcium, but water is needed to transport it
to plant roots for uptake.  If the soil was dry and you didn't water
regularly, calcium didn't reach plants.  My guess is that the patch of
ground in which the Romas were planted was drier than the other areas where
regular tomatoes stood.  Also, because Romas are paste types, very meaty,
and heavy croppers, they take up more water and need more water when fruit
is forming. Simply put, they require more water than the other varieties.

I've used mycorrhizae for years with terrific results.  I've found in Zone
5b and Zone 4b, both places I've gardened, that the mycorrhizae stays in the
soil year after year.  I leave roots in the soil when I clear away debris at
the end of the season.  Spores form for winter protection.  The next spring,
I dig or till and plant again.  The mycorrhizae spores are in the soil ready
to attach to emerging roots.

The mustard family, legumes (peas, etc.) and pines did not respond to endo
mycorrhizae.  Those families have other symbiotic microbes that help.
Rhizobium, for instance, is the enabler for legumes, and ecto mycorrhizae
for pines and other families.
Doreen Howard

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