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Rose Society Newsletter Article.....

The Pensacola Florida Rose Society president, Chuck Stander, decided to write this excellent article on BioVam after members of that society had used our product and were very pleased with how it worked with their Roses and gardens.

Other Rose Societies are also quite supportive of the use of BioVam with their Roses….

Dear Thomas,

"We have about 50 members right now and about 30 of them come to our regular monthly meetings. We are having our November meeting on Wed, Nov. 23, 1999, and I will talk to them about sending you info on how BioVam is working for them. I have shared the info with the officers and got them to try it. I guess we wanted to see for ourselves before we promoted it to the whole society.

The bottom line is it works and, with your help, I would love to share the news with everyone."

Thanks. --- Terry Ellis, President, Raleigh Rose Society

Pensacola Rose Society.

The Beneficial Properties Of Mycorrhiza Fungi

At the last rose meeting there was considerable discussion concerning the use of a product, new to our rose society, called BioVam  Mycorrhiza. Two of the members had used the product on roses and one had used it on some vegetables. Those who had tried the product were very pleased with the results. Therefore, I thought I would see what information I could find about the product and write an article for the newsletter. BioVam  is invented and manufactured by B. Probiotics and distributed by T&J Enterprises. Much of the information that follows was found on a web site for T & J Enterprises. They gave me permission to use the copyrighted information from their web site. Their web site address is: http://tandjenterprises.com/

Background Information

Mycorrhizae, microscopic fungi with remarkable powers, form a symbiotic association with about 90% of all living plants and trees.  Fossilized Mycorrhizae show they were on shore to assist plants as they emerged from the oceans.  It might be fair to say that without this 'helper organism' our contemporary plant life would be far less diverse and adaptable. Their usefulness to plants is no less important today than eons ago.

It may even be said, without exaggeration, that Mycorrhizae constitute the foundational microbe in the sphere around the roots. Strong evidence points to plants evolving with Mycorrhizae. An important review of research on Mycorrhizae described their importance.

Mycorrhizae are involved in many fundamental plant processes because they link plants and soil and induce changes in the host plant physiology. For plant roots to have Mycorrhizae is as normal and essential to the plant as for plant leaves to have chlorophyll.

Mycorrhizae nevertheless represent only one member of a vast society of organisms in the soil. There is much yet to be learned about Mycorrhizae and their relations with other members of the soil community, though decades of research at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service has produced much valuable scientific understanding of their actions on living plants and in the soil.

About 150 years ago the chemist Justus von Liebig overthrew the prevailing theory of humus, which held that the source of plant nutrition resided in humus. Humus is the end product of organic material that has been broken down by the action of microorganisms in the soil, e.g., bacteria and fungi. From his work came the development of agrochemicals, especially the three main nutrients of living plants: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). He became highly celebrated for demonstrating that inorganic chemicals could make living plants thrive. He, however, did not take in account the long-term effects on the quality of

our soil and water. He also overlooked the activity of soil dwelling microorganisms. In a natural system they are the link between the soil and plant. Through natural means they accomplish what inorganic chemicals provide but on a sustainable basis because they also remediate and replenish the soil.

There are many available microorganism cooperators in the soil. Mycorrhizae have a 350 million year old track record in creating fertile soils, and strong, productive plants. This is their most attractive and useful feature. They orchestrate a host of organisms beneficial to the plant where the Mycorrhizae take up residence in a plant's root. These same organisms, drawn to the table of plenty, created by the symbiotic relation between plant and Mycorrhizae, also help to defend the plant against unwanted intruders.

The essential characteristic of a co-operator is the ability to elicit mutually beneficial behavior among normally competing organisms. Mycorrhizae achieve this co-operation, termed Mycorrhizal obligate symbiosis, admirably. They link the collective of plants, microbes, insects, and animals to each other for all our benefit. Mycorrhizae are more experienced in growing plants than any other organism or creature alive today.

What is BioVam ?

BioVam is a Mycorrhizal soil Biotic that contains Glomus Species Endomycorrhiza, which serve to enhance plant development. There are many benefits attributed to the presence of BioVam’s Mycorrhiza working with the roots of plants.

Mycorrhiza fungi bridge between the soil and the roots of host plants and work in cooperation with other microorganisms to produce many benefits:

This high performing product includes proprietary materials exclusive to BioVam. It is 100% non-toxic, and environmentally and ecologically safe.

How does the Mycorrhiza fungi work?

Most of the benefits attributed to the BioVam  Mycorrhiza is due to how the Mycorrhiza works with the roots of the plants. Mycorrhiza is a word that describes a symbiotic relationship between fungi and plant roots. The Mycorrhiza fungi become an extension of a plant root system, which increases the root coverage significantly. The fungi break down organic material and the byproducts of worms and other microorganisms in the soil and feed those nutrients to the plants. The plants in turn feed the fungi carbohydrates. It is a powerful relationship beneficial to the soil, the plants, and the fungi.

What are some of the typical benefits found when roses are treated with BioVam  and Organic Fertilizer?

Research done by the manufacturers of BioVam  has found that when one applies BioVam , there seems to be a sequence of events taking place: first Mycorrhiza is introduced to the plant roots and a Mycorrhizal relationship forms between the plant roots and the fungi; centered in that relationship is the streaming of nutrients into the plant via the Mycorrhiza fungi; the first observable effect of plant health improvement takes place inside the plant; as the plant continues to grow, the external plant health improvements can be noticed. Those external improvements are tied directly to the internal improvements.

The internal improvements observed are that the internal layers are thicker and the Phloem and Xylem tubes are larger and more numerous. The cell structures of the outer layers of the plant are much better developed and keep in moisture while preventing diseases from gaining a foothold. All of the internal layers and structures are superior in treated plants and they all work together as a "system" to produce the remarkable differences that are noted on the outside of these same plants, i.e. larger and healthier leaves, vibrant colors, larger root systems, and healthier canes.

Some of the benefits, which have been observed, are:

How do you inoculate the rose bush?

Inoculating with BioVam  is easy.  To achieve beneficial results, the roots must be put in physical contact with the BioVam .  The amount of BioVam  used depends largely on the type of application.  If you are applying BioVam  to existing rose bushes use a ˝ inch probe to poke four holes into the root zone of your plant. You can go about 3"- 4" out from the plant and angle the probe towards the plant. I use a soil recovery probe, which is normally used for taking soil samples. You push the probe 6-8 inches into the soil, remove the probe containing the soil sample, and it leaves a hole about ˝ inch in diameter, which is perfect for pouring the ˝ teaspoon of BioVam  into each of the holes in the root area.

One rose society member uses a piece of schedule 40 PVC pipe to make the hole. A long screwdriver will also work well for this purpose if you wiggle it around to enlarge the hole. All of these methods work better if the soil is damp which helps keep the hole open when the screwdriver or pipe is removed. Put ˝ teaspoon of BioVam  into each hole and cover the hole with dirt.

It is also recommended that you broadcast 1.5 cups of organic fertilizer and one tablespoon of gypsum around the base of the bush and scratch it in lightly into the soil.

What kind of fertilizer should you use during the growing season?

It is recommended that you apply 1.5 cups/bush of organic fertilizer that is low in phosphate (2.0%<). T & J Enterprises recommends one of their organic fertilizers "Biosol Forte 7-2-1". The nutrients in this fertilizer are derived from the fermentation of soybean meal and cottonseed meal. This fertilizer is placed around the bush for the benefit of the Mycorrhiza. This rich supply of organic material will be decomposed by the Mycorrhiza fungi and then fed into the plant roots.

Mix the fertilizer into the top inch of soil. Don’t go deeper than an inch because you will disturb the hyphae of the Mycorrhiza fungi. The hyphae of the Mycorrhiza fungi are now part of the root system of the plant. (Editor’s comment: If you have been using a lot of mulch, the feeder roots may be very close to the surface of the soil under the mulch. Therefore, I would recommend that the organics be broadcast on top of the soil without scratching it into the surface of the soil.)

Biosol Forte 7-2-1 fertilizer can also be suspended in water creating a runny paste that can be easily poured around the base of the bush. This method of application will not disturb the feeder roots and is very effective at getting the fertilizer to seep deeper into the soil. It will leave a paste layer on the surface, which will seep into the soil every time the plant is watered.

Should you add mulch?

You may want to consider adding a mulch of ground up leaves, shredded pine bark, etc. The root system of your plants will enlarge as time goes by and earthworms will tend to move into the area if they already have not done so. They will eat the mulch and the worm castings are an excellent source of nitrogen fertilizer for your plants.

In general, you will find the soils around plants treated with BioVam  will remain loose and well aerated from the earthworms that move in, and from the Mycorrhiza fungi that grows out into the soil from the roots of your plants. The root system of the plant will grow larger and the plant will become healthier. Healthy plants tend to resist disease and insect damage better than weak plants.

What precautions should one take when using this product?

Avoid the use of chemical fertilizers especially where the phosphorus rating is above 1-2%. Superphosphate fertilizers in particular will keep the Mycorrhiza fungi from forming a Mycorrhizal relationship with your plants. If the fungi have already formed a Mycorrhizal relationship with your plants, then the addition of such fertilizers may damage your plants.

Avoid the use of green manure. The quick release nitrogen from green manure is not good for soil microbes. Use only well aged composted manure. Chicken manure and Bat Guano should not be used.

Certain fungicides, fumigants, and systemic substances can kill Mycorrhiza fungi. When the Mycorrhiza fungi die, it doesn’t mean your plant will die, but the fungi are a primary source of nutrients coming into your plants and you may find your plants struggling to survive if they no longer have the Mycorrhiza fungi in their root systems.

Certain fungicides can also inhibit inoculation including: Arasan, Benomyl, Botran, Mylone, and Thiabendazole.

Other fungicides have shown little or no effect on infection and development of endomycorrza. These include: Ethoprop, Funsophothian, Ethazole, Captan, Maneb, Manzate 200, Dithane M45, Ridomil, Aliette, Pyroxzyclor, Thiophanate methyl and Cleary’s 3336. Some soil fungicides such as Ethazole (Terrazole and Truban), when applied at low rates (10-40 ppm) and at 30 to 60 days after inoculation can stimulate Mycorrhizal infection. Insecticides that are non-systemic, and applied to plant foliage above ground, are BioVam safe. All herbicides, soil drenching of insecticides, or soil fumigation are harmful to BioVam fungi.

If you have a concern about the effect of any product upon Mycorrhiza fungi, or questions about usage, and application for your growing situations, contact:

T & J Enterprises
2328 W. Providence Ave.
Spokane, Washington 99205

Phone: 1-888-769-3878

E-Mail: (Thomas Giannou) Thomas@tandjenterprises.com

When can you apply the BioVam?

BioVam  can be applied anytime that the ground is not frozen.

How much BioVam  is needed per rose bush?

One quart of BioVam  contains 192 teaspoons and therefore, will treat 96 established rose bushes at 2 teaspoons per bush. You can also purchase a sample pack, which contains 12 teaspoons of BioVam .

What is the price of BioVam ?

The quart container of BioVam  is $30.06. The Sample package is $4.00. This price includes shipping and handling.

What is the shelf life of BioVam ?

Store the fungi in a loosely covered or open container (not air tight) at 70oF or less, but do not freeze. Keep the fungi cool, dry, and out of direct sunlight. If you don’t have a suitable cool storage area, BioVam can be stored in your refrigerator. Under these conditions the viability of the fungi is guaranteed for one year.

How often do you have to treat the bush with BioVam ?

Normally, BioVam  Mycorrhiza is applied once during the life of the plant. There are conditions such as when you are transplanting the plant, when you are significantly disturbing the soil around the plant, or when the plant encounters some harsh environmental stress that might warrant reapplication of BioVam . A reapplication of BioVam  will not be detrimental to the plant or the ecosystem around the plant.

Do you want to try some BioVam?

I have ordered a quart of BioVam  for evaluation in my garden. If there are those who are interested in sharing a quart please indicate your desire by signing the sheet at the next meeting and indicate how many rose bushes you would be treating. Remember it takes two teaspoons of BioVam  per bush and the cost would be $0.32 per bush. Bring your own zip lock bag to put the material in.

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