Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can The Right Potting Mix Replace Fungicide?

Date:
July 3, 2007
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Potting mixes custom-tailored to fight plant diseases can work much better than systemic fungicides. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant pathologists Leona Horst, James Locke and Charles Krause found this was true for a mix of peat, compost and the beneficial fungus Trichoderma hamatum strain 382.

A potting mix reduced Botrytis gray mold better than a fungicide. Botrytis gray mold is the most common disease of greenhouse flowering plants, from begonias to petunias.
Credit: Photo by James Locke

Potting mixes custom-tailored to fight plant diseases can work much better than systemic fungicides.

Related Articles


Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant pathologists Leona Horst, James Locke and Charles Krause found this was true for a mix of peat, compost and the beneficial fungus Trichoderma hamatum strain 382. Horst and Krause are at the ARS Application Technology Research Unit in Wooster, Ohio. Locke is part of the unit's relatively new Greenhouse Production Research Group in Toledo, Ohio.

In a test with begonias, the scientists found that the mix reduced Botrytis gray mold, caused by the Botrytis cinerea fungus, better than the standard fungicide chlorothalonil did. Botrytis gray mold is the most common disease of greenhouse floral crops such as begonia, carnation, chrysanthemum, cyclamen, geranium, impatiens, petunia and marigold.

The beneficial Trichoderma fungus seems to enter the plants through the roots and spread through the entire plant internally. One advantage of systemic biocontrol—as opposed to spraying the plant leaves with a solution containing beneficial fungi—is that it doesn't leave a residue on the plant that harms plant market value.

Begonias grown in this mix had much fewer gray mold symptoms and much higher market value that those grown in straight peat and sprayed with chlorothalonil. The improvement in plant quality and market value makes the Trichoderma-compost mix very promising for greenhouse operations. Also, Botrytis has developed resistance to several fungicides.

The Trichoderma fungus thwarts Botrytis on more than one front. It prevents Botrytis from infecting fresh wounds, and produces compounds that keep Botrytis spores from germinating.

Surprisingly, the compost mix had a similar effect even without Trichoderma. This means there could be naturally occurring beneficial fungi or other biocontrol agents in the compost.

But, growers need to add beneficial fungi like Trichoderma to their mix, because they can't count on commercial composts to have them naturally.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Can The Right Potting Mix Replace Fungicide?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628063211.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2007, July 3). Can The Right Potting Mix Replace Fungicide?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628063211.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Can The Right Potting Mix Replace Fungicide?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628063211.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

AFP (Nov. 25, 2014) Phnom Penh's only working elephant was blessed by a crowd of chanting Buddhist monks Tuesday as she prepared for a life of comfortable jungle retirement after three decades of giving rides to tourists. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) A Swedish Adventure racing team travels to try and win a world title, but comes home with something way better: a stray dog that joined the team for much of the grueling 430-mile race. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins