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Re: fungal vs bacterial/ till no? No till?

thanks for the information.  it is really of great help.  currently, we do a
lot of experimentations and observations on several vegetable families.  we
do our own microbial culture using lacto bacilli, forest and bamboo
microorganism.  apparently, the forest ones are much fungal and the bamboo
much bacterial.  lactic acid bacteria however is our main workhorse in
composting, digestion and arresting foul odors.  we do a lot of anaerobic
fermentation.  in fact, we ferment our materials first before we really
compost them.  we make special designer compost that includes several
diversed materials of which we inoculate with beneficial indigenous
microorganisms and add lots of bionutrients we normally extract from herbs.
our designer compost we add rice bran and rice hull charcoal aside from
microbes and bionutrients.  this compost is what we will start using for our
compost teas.  anaerobic to aerobic? well, let's see.
again, thanks. gil

From: Jeff Lowenfels <jeff@GARDENER.COM>
Reply-To: Sustainable Agriculture Network Discussion Group
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] fungal vs bacterial/ till no? No till?
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 22:02:42 -0800

Hi Gil,

You asked if there is any why to tell what a plant likes in terms of
bacterial vs. fungally dominated soils.

I am sure Dr. Elaine will give a better answer, but the way I remember it
to think of where the plant I am trying to grow sits on a line of
from short growing season desert to grasses to prairie to deciduous woods
hardwood forests to old growth conifers.

Annuals and row crops are at the bacterial end...things that take a short
time to grow and produce.

My understanding is that there  are "generally" the same numbers of
in healthy soils no matter where the soil is taken along the line. It is
fungal numbers that change and increase as the system matures so that by
time you get to old growth, you have very high fungal dominance. And, of
course, tilling decreases these numbers by killing the fragile, invisible
fungi in the soil so you are left with a higher ratio of bacteria after you

And, if you can stand two more paragraphs, getting rid of fungus is why we
here in Alaska actually want to till gardens the first few years after they
are carved out of the black spruce forests that are our back yard.....our
soils are so fungal, it is hard to grow lots of annuals unless the soil is

Breccias, on the other hand, do well in our fungal soils. It is a kid's
hell. Broccoli, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts.  You may have heard of the
100 pound cabbages. Of course, this may be more a factor of the cool
temperatures or their ability to attract bacteria regardless of fungal
numbers in the soil. This family of plants does not form mycorrhizal
relationships either.

You can tell my gardening engines are running, but spring has just now
arrived here. Sorry. And, please correct me, Dr. Elaine!


Jeff L

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