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Re: bone meal, rot

> >in my soil, the addition of bone meal produces
> >rot in bearded irises as well,
> Any ideas why?  
> Phosphorus is supposed to be good for roots, but thinking of Donald's earlier
> post about mycorhizae...One of the benefits of mycorhizal root fungi is an
> enhancement of the plant's ability to extract phosphorus from soil.  Studies
> of other kinds of plants (I haven't turned up anything on iris yet) have
> shown that if plants have plenty of nutrients available, like when we add
> fertilizer, their roots often will NOT be colonized with mycorhizae.  So if
> Donald's hypothesis is right, maybe with extra bone meal, you get less
> mycorizae, and that leaves the roots more vulnerable to attack from other
> kinds of fungi and maybe bacteria.  ????

First off, I thought it was Potash (K) that was good for roots, as in
N (Nitrogen):  shoots
P (Phosphorus):  blooms
K (Potassium):  roots / cold-heat tolerance

So much is focussed on the first two, relatively little on the last.
N is found in abundance in blood meal, P in bone meal:  these constitute
major fertilizers for spring bulbs (the bone meal) and pansies (the
blood meal).

Am I wrong in this?  I can definitely relate that if the plant doesn't
have to work very hard to obtain essential nutrients, it might get
fat & lazy and thus susceptible to disease, as we humans are.  Or
perhaps the excess nutrients are toxic to the mycorhizae?

Amy Moseley Rupp
amyr@mpd.tandem.com, Austin, TX, zone 8b
Jill O. *Trades
Mistress O. {}

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