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CULT: antibacterial organics? (was Re: losing rhizomes)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: CULT: antibacterial organics? (was Re: losing rhizomes)
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@icx.net>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Sep 1997 03:24:59 -0600 (MDT)

Walta Moores wrote:
>        One will hear all these stories about not using peat with bearded
> irises but until one has tried it personally, one will never know the
> advantages.

Seems like I recall hearing about peat's antibacterial or antifungal
properties somewhere in the dim past, and remembering our (fascinating!)
thread about the bacteria eating slime mold growing on top of our
alfalfa amended iris beds, so maybe it has something to do with disease
control (in some soils anyway) as well as direct benefits to the iris
plants.  Feeding the disease predators rather than applying poisons
(e.g., the Clorox, chlorine cleanser approach) or maybe poisoning with
long-acting whateveritis in peat, while feeding predators with alfalfa. 
Perhaps more useful in settings where high rainfall makes avoiding moist
soil impossible, no matter how good the drainage.

Has anybody else run across anything about effects of peat on biological
activity in soil or maybe more direct biochemical action on bacteria or
fungi?  (Aside from its reputation for acidifying and holding moisture
and being very resistant to decay.)

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA
3 1/2 inches of rain - barely wet the ground

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