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Subject:  Azos

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Frank and Tina

South East


How does Azos work in our diffrent soils. Is it viable? Or just another way to spend money on something for our patch? Are the effects seen on plants in patches from azos or from the seaweed sprays, drenches and/or other products. How can we be sure a product works when we use so many?

2/27/2014 2:40:24 PM


Springfield, Missouri


This article discussed encystment which is the ability for bacteria in this case to go dormant. If Azos is prepared properly what we are applying to our gardens are microbial cysts. If conditions are favorable the cysts which can be thought of as seed-like break dormancy and inhabit the soil.

What I took from the ncbi article above is that Azos don't like dry alkaline soil, but can survive for a month or more in soil that maintains a relatively constant moisture. Relatively constant moisture is important because these bacteria inhabit a very limited zone of the soil. The article below discusses how Azos move in liquid to an area of low oxygen avalibility (0.4%). If a soil rapidly drys the zone of (0.4%) oxygen moves to fast for the bacteria to keep up with resulting in loss of function or death


2/27/2014 3:23:40 PM


Springfield, Missouri

There are two ways to use Azos.

1.Inoculate your cover crop. Let the Azos multiply and fix nitrogen. Till and kill. Get a short burst of nitrogen from the dying Azos.

2. Inoculate low growing living mulch. Trench and/or bury where the vines run. Leave all other areas of the garden undisturbed and take full advantage of the hormones that Azos produce. - with living mulch disease pressure may be higher and living mulches may have allelopathic effects on pumpkin plants. Then again allelopathic effects might be negligible.

Frank/Tina, I hope that this forum will allow growers (especially the ones with limited budgets) to understand how things work so that they can make educated decisions when buying products.

Science and advertising are completely different.

2/27/2014 3:37:16 PM


Seattle, WA


I think you bring up a very important point and something that is not discussed enough by pumpkin growers. Very few growers are using controls in their patch. They want to push the envelope and use all the latest and greatest products. When they grow a larger pumpkin, they don't know if it was product A, B, C, etc...that actually contributed to that growth. Or even if it was different genetics, better environmental conditions, better watering, etc....

I see many products being promoted on this forum, but little actual research to support their usage. I think this is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's good to be on the cutting edge and trying new products/methods/technologies. On the other hand, I cringe when I hear people blindly promoting a product as a "must have" patch addition when there's little else to go on than the fact they grew a world record or had a better season in their patch.

To me, this is less a question about Azos, but rather about what's the best bang for your buck in your patch and what products have been proven through trials or research and have data to support their usage.


2/27/2014 9:04:44 PM


President - GPC

RTI has done a whole lot of research and presented such at the seminar.

2/28/2014 5:30:04 PM


Springfield, Missouri

To clarify my previous post I do think inoculating root nodes would provide adequate coverage. I was thinking living mulches would increase microbial activity by preventing desiccation, and thus death of Azos. More Azos = more plant hormones.

There are many microbes that we could use that maybe less "fussy" than Azos. Cyanobacteria can live on top of the soil, fix nitrogen, and supply plant hormones. Cyanobacteria can be grown in artificial conditions (then sprayed) easier than other nitrogen fixing microbes. Here is a link.


2/28/2014 6:03:17 PM


New Richmond WI

This is VERY informative ... some of the links were a little over my head ... Logan your two points were well interpreted and helped me understand more what I should be doing with this product. I was compelled to look up rhizosphere ... and found this useful for my knowledge ...


2/28/2014 6:41:49 PM


While doing a search on compost tea ,i have seen people saying that a good tea contains lots of nitrogen fixing bacteria.
Can any-one expand on this such as what types?
How to these species compare to the azos variety?
If these bacteria are dying off,how often should they be replaced to get maximum benefit through the growing season(ie every four days,once a week etc.)

2/28/2014 7:41:28 PM


Springfield, Missouri


Proteobacteria in the families Azotobacteraceae, Rhizobiaceae, and Rhodospirillaceae, in addition to cyanobacteria are all groups of nitrogen fixing bacteria that can inhabit our gardens. Azos are actually part of the Rhodospirillaceae family.

What does this mean? There are many many species of nitrogen fixing bacteria. Healthy soils and/or compost tea don't just rely on a diversity of nitrogen fixing bacteria, they rely on a diversity of fungi, bacteria, protests, micro organisms such as worms, carbon sources, nutrients, moisture, and pH.

This may seem like a silly example, but bear with me. In the eighth grade we had to job shadow someone outside of our immediate family. My step-dad is a city manager, was able to let me shadow at the waste water treatment plant ... I was motivated to do well in school after I saw a guy climb down a 30 foot hole and spray poo out of a pump station. Anyway we also had to analyze the "bugs" at the actual treatment plant. The engineers had to maintain certain levels biodiversity in the aeration tanks. Some of the microbes broke down the solid waste, and others ate the primary consumers, ect. each microbe has its own niche. Basically it was the biggest tank of compost tea I have ever seen.

2/28/2014 9:30:35 PM


Springfield, Missouri

So how do we get the maximum benefit? I would say we need to keep educating ourselves about how each microbe we apply grows, and how all the microbes in or gardens and our cover crops interact with one another. For example Azos

Azos can be free living but prefers to colonize the root systems of grasses. These bacteria are limited to a specific range in soil since they are microaerobic. When nutrients become scarce a compound called Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is formed. PHB resists leaching, UV radiation, and can be used as a food source. When PHB forms vegetative cells enlarge and are surrounded by other cells to form cysts. These cysts can resist desiccation for 10 to 12 days, where as normal vegetative cells only survived for 2 days.

So if you inoculate your cover crop with Azos you may be able to coax them into a cystic form by killing the cover crop, but leaving the roots undisturbed for a week or so. My thinking here is that roots release sugars into the soil to attract microbes. We need to use up most of the sugars in the soil to stress the azos enough to go dormant before tilling. Will it work better than what we do now? I don't know, its something that people will have to work with. If you have enough money to pay for lots of Azos so that each leaf node can be inoculated it doesn't matter as much. I'm a poor college student.

Like I mentioned earlier living mulches could support biodiversity season round. The challenge would be finding cover crops that don't compete with our plants, and stay low to the ground so that disease doesn't become a problem.

2/28/2014 10:02:40 PM

D Nelson

NE Kansas

Consider the application directions also. If I were to market a product to you I would want you to buy more of it as soon as possible, so I would direct you to apply the maximum dose at the minimum interval. I think that one of the worst things you can do is to buy a jug of something in the middle of the season and dump the whole thing on one part of your garden. A healthy diet is just as important as is the consistency of that diet. The manufacturers and the marketers of a product have different motives than you do.

2/28/2014 11:23:47 PM


Guelph, Ontario

Here is an article of interest on add microorganisms to soil


5/2/2019 8:48:23 AM


Central Illinois

I think there could be a difference between large farm applications compared to our highly controled growing conditions

5/2/2019 10:15:41 AM

Total Posts: 13 Current Server Time: 5/16/2022 6:05:08 PM
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