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Warning: For your consideration, while bacteria and fungi of this product are beneficial to your plants, the same is not true for you. Those agents can be infectious for humans. They are common and we unknowingly encounter them in our gardening and potting of plants. Practice standard sanitary procedures to protect yourself. This product is dry and a bit dusty, be careful when handling that the dust or the liquid mix does not get in your eyes, nose or mouth, or cuts or sores you may have on your hands or arms. Just use reasonable precautions when using the product. Always read the instructions and caution labels.
Mary purchased a new product which has gained wide use by members of the North American Clivia Society. Clivias, even more than azaleas are subject to root rot, and this seems to be an important step in controlling the problem. It is produced by Real Growers (link below) of Fort Collins, Colorado. That is the home of Colorado State University (the old Colorado A&M), an important research university. I am sure, with Colorado’s legalizing marijuana, that this product was developed for that market. It is called ‘Recharge – Professional Strength Microbial Superpack’. I believe it could be quite useful to California azalea growers as our climate is very favorable to the growth of the various fungi that may cause root rot. Its best use is as a preventative, or after the application of anti-fungal chemicals that often deplete the soil in pots of the good fungi as well as the bad. The product is fairly expensive, the basic containers 8 ounces, 16 ounces and 5 pounds, and is used at the rate of 2.5 grams per gallon of water, applied I noted that the label calls for continuous or frequent use every 7 to 10 days. And I also think that is intended for the commercial growers, probably using flow through watering and fertilizing systems. For our purposes I think use with regular periodic feedings would be very adequate. All we really need is the agents be introduced into our potting soil. They should be self-sustaining and in fact thrive unless there are unusual circumstances such as extreme temperatures or the introduction of fungicides or anti-biotics. One 16 oz. container will make about 160 gallons of solution.
Perhaps we could find a way to split a container among those that might be interested. The contents include spores of six fungi and starting colonies of four bacillus. I’m going to use some of Mary’s on my azaleas, particularly as I repot them, or if any show signs of trouble I’ll keep a record so I can report in the product efficacy from my experience. From the label – “This product is intended to be used as a soil amendment to establish colonies of beneficial bacteria (and fungi) in horticultural systems.” Also available from Amazon, but what isn’t!
– – Don Meeker
Recharge is loaded with mycorrhizae and Trichoderma fungi as well as the strongest microbe package available anywhere. We add organic goodies including kelp, molasses, humic acid, fulvic acid and amino acids to develop a healthy colony of living soil microbes. Undiluted, uncut and delivered at true professional strength concentrations.
The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt has been raising funds for its Garden Revitalization Project (GRO). This project aims to upgrade the display benches and stands, watering system, pathways, and much more, in order to meet the challenges of caring for and maintaining the historic and legacy bonsai collection in a professional and museum quality manner.
As part of this, they have initiated a recognition brick fundraiser drive in which individuals, clubs and businesses can purchase a variety of state of the art engraved bricks, and the proceeds will go towards the GRO Project. GRO projects include laying cement pavers for all pathways within the Bonsai Garden, and the engraved bricks will line a special pathway.
For information http://www.gsbf-lakemerritt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Bonsai-Garden-of-Lake-Merritt-Brick-Flyer-09-11-17.pdf
ReIncreased levels of AUX/IAA19, which indicate an activation of auxin signaling, were observed in the cut-end of root-cut plants compared to intact plants. Scale bar = 0.1 mm. Credit: Xu D. et al., Plant and Cell Physiology, September 1, 2017.
The molecular mechanism behind root regeneration after root cutting in plants has been discovered. A finding which could lead to the development of new methods for regulating plant growth in agriculture and horticulture.
A plant’s root system is highly regenerative. It plays a critical role in absorbing water and nutrients from the soil and therefore its loss can be an immediate threat to their lives. The plasticity of the root system also helps plants adopt to adverse conditions such as draught. An agricultural technique called root pruning, or root cutting, uses this natural robustness to control plant growth. It has also been used in horticulture to control plant size and vigor as seen in Bonsai.
Previous studies have suggested that root regeneration occurs through the induction of lateral root (LR) formation, and that auxin, a well-studied growth hormone involved in various processes of plant development, plays a role in the process. However, the molecular mechanism behind root regeneration has remained largely unknown.
According to a new study published in Plant and Cell Physiology, scientists have identified for the first time that YUCCA9, one of the eleven YUCCA genes involved in auxin synthesis, plays a primary role in root-system regeneration.
Using Arabidopsis as a model, the research team led by Associate Professor Masaaki Watahiki of Hokkaido University found that root cutting induces both LR formation and the growth of existing roots. Experiments investigating gene expressions and using mutants identified YUCCA9 as the primary gene responsible for auxin biosynthesis during root-system regeneration after root cutting. In collaboration with Professor Masashi Asahina of Teikyo University, the team also found an evident increase in the level of auxin after cutting.
Auxin commonly shows an uneven distribution in plant bodies as a result of polar transportation, leading to gravity – or light-induced bending of the plant. The team found that the polar transport system is required for root regeneration as well.
Interestingly, the team revealed that the defective LRs of some auxin signaling mutants can be recovered by root cutting, suggesting the robustness of the auxin signaling induced by root cutting. They also showed a redundancy of auxin biosynthesis genes by mutant analysis.
“We identified the primary gene of auxin biosynthesis which is responsible for root regeneration upon root damage. This finding could lead to the development of new methods for suppressing or enhancing root regeneration, and thus controlling plant growth in agriculture and horticulture,” says Masaaki Watahiki
More information: Dongyang Xu et al, YUCCA9-Mediated Auxin Biosynthesis and Polar Auxin Transport Synergistically Regulate Regeneration of Root Systems Following Root Cutting, Plant and Cell Physiology (2017). DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcx107
Provided by: Hokkaido University
During the 8th World Bonsai Convention, Saitama City, Japan, this past April 27-30, 2017, Master Bonsai Artist Shigeo Isobe performed a demonstration on a Satsuki Azalea bonsai. He started with an overgrown, bushy, mature Satsuki Azalea bonsai. Master Isobe demonstrated how much pruning a Satsuki Azalea bonsai can be done. The photograph below depicts the completed demonstration Satsuki Azalea bonsai.
Great news – the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO) Project ended August 2017 by raising 45% towards its goal of $100,000. New vertical, straight grain red cedar benches and stands have been installed to replace the original bonsai display benches and stands. There have been more than two thirds of the new overhead water systems using the new micro cone sprayers installed to replace the old drip irrigation piping. Copper metal sculpture artwork has been added to the accent display site with its own water system. In October, plans call for the installment of cement pavers for all the pathways. This will eliminate muddy and dusty conditions and make it more accessible and safer for the public. Needless to say, exciting things are taking place at the BGLM. Look for new fundraising ideas coming this month. BGLM thanks everyone for their support.
On 15 July 2017, I took my “Kaho” Satsuki Azalea bonsai to Darren Wong of Soh-Ju-En, a family business specializing in Satsuki Azalea bonsai, to work on and perform summer maintenance. Darren wanted to thin out the pads which were very dense. We did not perform Mesuki, a technique for pruning to shape. The yearly growth should be trimmed; shoots grow in sets of five at the ends of branches and should be trimmed down to two. The rest of the shoots should be pruned to two sets of leaves. Prune secondary shoots in the middle of summer. However, in the case of my “Kaho” Darren chose to thin the leaves slightly. We removed dead leaves and tiny branches, mostly in the interior. The pads were very dense. Darren wanted it so when you put your hand under the pad you can see the hand clearly from above the pad. Some photographs were taken upon completion. Darren will send the photographs to his sensei Sushio Nakayama in Japan to show what progress has been made on the bonsai. Darren and sensei Sushio have selected a show pot for the “Kaho” which should arrive from Japan in time for the repotting season next year. For now the “Kaho” remains in a large training pot. I took some photographs of the “Kaho” in May of this year. The ability to show the bonsai next year depends on many factors.