Home Publications National Nursery Proceedings 2003 Five Years of Irish Trials on Biostimulants—The Conversion of a Skeptic

Five Years of Irish Trials on Biostimulants—The Conversion of a Skeptic

Three biostimulants, Lysaplant (Bugico, Switzerland), Plantali (Vossen, The Netherlands), and Kerry Algae (Kerry Algae, Ireland), were tested over 5 years in Irish nurseries on a variety of conifer and broadleaf forest tree species. The trials were designed to test the following biostimulant claims: improved growth, disease protection in rooting cuttings, and reduced need for fertilizer. Lysaplant seed coating was found to produce nearly a 2-fold increase of first order root length in 6-month-old Douglas-fir grown in nonfumigated soil. Lysaplant, Plantali, and Kerry Algae (foliar sprays), were used in growth experiments in the bareroot and container nurseries over 2 years on 10 species. Plantali and Lysaplant both increased height and diameter growth in most of the species tested, with some height increases greater than 20%. With the Lysaplant spray, fungicide use in the rooting of cuttings could be reduced to nearly zero with improved rooting (51% with fungicide, 68% with Lysaplant) under stressful rooting conditions. Lysaplant and Plantali were both effective in promoting growth even when the standard fertilizer rate was halved. Foliar analysis and visual color assessment indicated that the biostimulants improved N uptake. The conclusion from this extensive series of trials is that Lysaplant and Plantali are biostimulants that work as insurance against the vagaries of the Irish weather conditions. These biostimulants improve growth and reduce fertilizer requirements. Lysaplant spray can be used to decrease the need for fungicide in the rooting of Sitka spruce cuttings while Lysaplant Root improves root morphology.

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Author(s): Barbara E. Thompson

Publication: National Nursery Proceedings - 2003

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