calcium bentonite and mycorriza fungi amendments

Asked February 18, 2013, 8:54 PM EST

I have three seperate questions on soil amendments. 1-What affect would calcium bentonite have on a neutral clay soil? 2-Azomite is a rock dust from Utah which has 65 minerals. What can I substitute for it since I can't find it in Crossville.3-Are Mychorrizal fungi additives, a good soil amendment?Denise

Cumberland County Tennessee soil amendments soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Denise,
1- Bentonite is a very fine clay recommended to help seal leaky ponds. The additional calcium might prove beneficial in deficient soils however it should not affect pH greatly.
2- I am not familiar with azomite however would not recommend addition of a material such as that without a guaranteed analysis and a soil test from of the area (to be amended) to substantiate need.
3-Mychorrizae are found naturally in most soils with the exception being eroded, highly weathered soils. These symbiotic fungi have been known to help feed plants by increasing surface area around the roots of certain species of plants. There has also been some evidence they may increase phosphorus uptake in deficient soils. Better than half of garden soil samples submitted in 2012 from Cumberland County tested high or very high in phosphorus, therefore P should be plentiful in those cases. I think it's always best to evaluate pH and primary nutrients via soil test and maintain organic matter before adding expensive amendments that may have no effect on growth or production. Best regards,
Debbie