MineralMAXX

Better Soil. Better Plants. Better Planet.

 

Specific Info - Vegetables

The Effects of Montmorillonite Clay on Tomato Plants By: Jared Milarch Undergraduate Research Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI

The effect of montmorillonite clay on maturity, vigor, and yields of tomato plants was tested under greenhouse conditions from June 17 to September 9, 1997. Eight tomato plants (30 cm height) of the Fantastic variety were planted in one gallon plastic containers with identical mixtures of topsoil and composted cow manure. Four plants were grown with no supplement as the control treatment. The other four plants received two tablespoons of montmorillonite clay (MC) added to the soil mixture. Water was given equally to all plants. All plants were rotated to ensure equal light and heat exposure.

Results: During the following 67 day growth period, the MC-treated plants grew 14.6% taller with an average additional 68.5 cm, whereas the control plants grew an average 59.75 cm (Figure 1). After 67 days on test, the average number of open blossoms increased 190% for the MC plants; 7.25 compared to 2.5 open blossoms for each control plant (Figure 2). In addition, Figure 3 shows the MC-treated plants had a 400% increase in immature tomatoes by the 67th day; averaging 1.25 compared to an average 0.25 immature tomatoes on the control plants. All plants showed evidence of whitefly damage (sticky, honeydew residue on leaves) by 28 days into the study. By the 42nd day of the study the MC-treated plants showed only 36% of the leaf damage shown by the control plants (2.25 damaged leaves compared to an average 6.25 damaged control leaves shown in Figure 4). (Insecticidal soap began whitefly control after the 42nd day.)

Conclusions: This study shows montmorillonite clay addition to the soil for growing tomatoes increased the height (14.6%) and maturity of the plants (190% greater open blossoms and 400% more immature tomatoes) after 67 days on trial. In addition, the effects of whitefly pest damage on the montmorillonite clay treated plants was only 36% of that seen on the control plants.

Tomato growth research using MONTMORILLONITE Trace Mineral soil additive (2-2008) Lead Researcher: Kent Brown IIHW—Principal Investigator: Dr. Auriel Combs

In the Spring of 2007 the International Institute for Health & Wellness, Inc.; Rio Verde University; and the Utah State University Agricultural Extension Department-Washington County, Utah began work on a joint research project to analyze the growth of a variety of tomatoes and chiles in a tire bale hot house environ specifically looking at the effect of the addition of MONTMORILLONITE soil additive to plant growing areas (encased in plastic gro-sleeves© (concept created by Dr. CB Jacobson of Provo, UT). The IIHW served as the lead research institution (Dr. Auriel Combs principal investigator) for the project situated in Veyo, (Washington County) Utah. Rio Verde University – INTL served as a support research institution. Project manager and lead researcher Kent Brown of St. George, UT oversaw the construction and operation of the site. The project was further supported by Dr. Leon Thomas RPh and Gary Jackson of St. George and a host of volunteers including Dr. Ronald D. Lewis, Dr. Joe Collett, Craig and Mackey Irwin, Harry Hofman, Dick Ohlmann, Jen Ottens, Jordan Taylor, Eric Ottens, Matthew Ottens, Jana Taylor, Craig Rollo, Terri Combs, Tim Chadwick and Vic Cowley. Utah State University provided ongoing soil analysis and hybrid tomato seedlings for the project.

RVU Researchers at Tomato Tire Bale Hot-House Test Site during construction spring 2007 (l-r) Jen Ottens Orem, UT; Jim Ottens Orem, UT; Craig Irwin Las Cruces, NM; Dr. JD Salazaar RVU-INTL Juarez, MEX; Kent Brown St. George, UT; Dr. Auriel Combs RVU-El Paso, TX; Gary Jackson St. George, UT; Dr. Mackey Irwin Las Cruces, NM.

OBJECT OF PROJECT BIC-A

The initial tomato trial consisted of 100 tomato plants placed in separate gro-sleeves and embedded approximately 20 inches apart on 24 inch rows. This number of replications under natural growing conditions might prove the MONTMORILLONITE effect is genuine, consistent, and reproducible. The 100 plants in the hothouse were divided into ten groups of ten. Some were given chemical fertilizer’s, others got MONTMORILLONITE at different dosages. Some got with compost; others got only MONTMORILLONITE One group got only compost; another had no treatment MONTMORILLONITE at all. Another consideration is whether the variety is open-pollinated or a hybrid. A hybrid seed comes from a cross between two different varieties, made to obtain a certain set of characteristics. (The seed from a hybrid has a different mix of the parent plants' genes and usually produces less desirable plants.) An open-pollinated variety holds on to the parents characteristics generation after generation. Also, tomatoes have either a determinate or an indeterminate growth habit. Determinate tomatoes tend to have compact plants and the fruit ripens more closely together. Indeterminate plants continue to grow and the fruits keep setting until the plant leaves freeze.

What follows is a list of varieties used for the trial. Indet. is short for indeterminate varieties, Det. for determinate. In this study only Determinate varieties were used.

  • Oregon Spring--Det. Open-pollinated. Very meaty, excellent tasting, mid-to large-sized red fruits. Matures in a short season. Takes cold well.
  • Small Fry--Det. Hybrid One inch red cherry tomatoes in clusters of 7-8. Great for small gardens, containers. Continuous fruiting, unlike many determinants.
  • Celebrity--Det. Hybrid. Grows o.k. in Southwest, very flavorful. Medium-sized to large, red fruit. Large plant for a determinate.
  • USU hybrid #16A-1--Det. Hybird 3 to four inch red tomatoes in clusters of 4-6. Thin plant structure requiring less water for arid climates.
  • The four varieties were mixed and separated in the initial seeding beds and grown in a local hothouse in the winter of 2006 early 2007. By July 2007, it was obvious to everyone which tomatoes were fed MONTMORILLONITE . Treated tomatoes grew taller, darker, stronger, better, and produced more fruit. As before, MONTMORILLONITE -treated plants flowered sooner and ripened fruit earlier.

Most dramatic, plants fed chemical fertilizer developed disease and declined, while MONTMORILLONITE fed plants growing a few feet away showed no disease, stayed healthy and produced longer. Potting soil was 25%, volcanic soil 50%, 10% peat and 15% composted manure, and each tray had 20 seeds planted. The number of sprouts per tray was highest for Celebrity-APs (41), then Celebrity-Af (25), OR-As (23), SF-APf (20), OR-P (19), and USU control (16). After two weeks, shoots were harvested and weighed. Highest green mass was Celebrity-APs (.466), then Celebrity-Af (.457), OR-P (.435), SF-APf (.416), OR-As (.407), and USU control (.399). (see study BIC #1)

"Ninety percent of the tomato plants with compost bloomed three weeks ahead of the tomato plants with fertilizer alone," said project manager Kent Brown.

The USU hybrid performed the poorest overall with an average of 21 tomatoes picked per plant. There were separate bio-incorporation studies done to analyze 16 trace mineral levels in the fruit (see BIC study #2). As well two of the remaining 10 sections that had used MONTMORILLONITE were also analyzed to calibrate bio-incorporation rates of trace minerals.

The Celebrity plants performed the best with the 10 gro-sleeve© plants using MONTMORILLONITE averaging 39 fruit per plant. When the testing period was ended, seven of the 10 plants still had flowering blooms on them. (for full analysis see BIC study #1A) This is especially important for any time of controlled environment growth program since the plants will produce longer without replanting.

In an earlier research program similar test results were observed: "I think MONTMORILLONITE is effective because it adds to the soil what has been depleted for years. "Not only that, it frees up minerals to forms plants can use. Soil microbes are probably 60-80% of the effectiveness, because without organic matter in soil, minerals aren't available in forms plants can absorb." Jared Milarch

Test Results: It was shown that overall MONTMORILLONITE aided plants had:

  • increased leaf and tissue growth, often doubling annual growth in saplings
  • reduced rates of disease
  • tomatoes blossoming three weeks sooner
  • increased the yield in fruit and vegetables
  • increases in the density of turf grass
  • improved flavor of fruits & vegetables (this is subjective, and was simply the opinion of several of the researchers as they tasted produce freshly picked at the site).
  • product is useful for annuals, perennials, fruits, flowers, vegetables, and trees—home garden, agriculture and horticulture

The following is a compilation of several additional studies done on the use of Montmorillonite soil additive and tomato plants.

The Effects of Montmorillonite Clay on Tomato Plants

By: Jared Milarch Undergraduate Research Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI

The effect of montmorillonite clay on maturity, vigor, and yields of tomato plants was tested under greenhouse conditions from June 17 to September 9, 1997. Eight tomato plants (30 cm height) of the Fantastic variety were planted in one gallon plastic containers with identical mixtures of topsoil and composted cow manure. Four plants were grown with no supplement as the control treatment. The other four plants received two tablespoons of montmorillonite clay (MC) added to the soil mixture. Water was given equally to all plants. All plants were rotated to ensure equal light and heat exposure.

Results: During the following 67 day growth period, the MC-treated plants grew 14.6% taller with an average additional 68.5 cm, whereas the control plants grew an average 59.75 cm (Figure 1). After 67 days on test, the average number of open blossoms increased 190% for the MC plants; 7.25 compared to 2.5 open blossoms for each control plant (Figure 2). In addition, Figure 3 shows the MC-treated plants had a 400% increase in immature tomatoes by the 67th day; averaging 1.25 compared to an average 0.25 immature tomatoes on the control plants. All plants showed evidence of whitefly damage (sticky, honeydew residue on leaves) by 28 days into the study. By the 42nd day of the study the MC-treated plants showed only 36% of the leaf damage shown by the control plants (2.25 damaged leaves compared to an average 6.25 damaged control leaves shown in Figure 4). (Insecticidal soap began whitefly control after the 42nd day.)

Conclusions: This study shows montmorillonite clay addition to the soil for growing tomatoes increased the height (14.6%) and maturity of the plants (190% greater open blossoms and 400% more immature tomatoes) after 67 days on trial. In addition, the effects of whitefly pest damage on the montmorillonite clay treated plants was only 36% of that seen on the control plants.

Comparison of the Use of a Compost and Montmorillonite Clay to Conventional Fertilization in Tomatoes

By: Kirk E. Waterstripe PhD, Assistant Professor Jared Milarch, Undergraduate Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI

The effectiveness of tomato plant fertilization programs using montmorillonite clay, composted cattle manure, and NPK-based fertilizer supplements, given individually or in combination, was investigated April 18 through August 30, 1998. Growth, productivity and plant health were measured to determine the benefit of each treatment. Eight identical 0.2 m flats each received one of the following soil treatments: 1. topsoil only as control (T), 2. topsoil and compost (TC), 3. topsoil and fertilizer (TF), 4. topsoil and montmorillonite clay (TM), 5. topsoil, compost, and montmorillonite clay (TCM), 6. topsoil, compost, and fertilizer (TCF), 7. topsoil, fertilizer, and montmorillonite (TFM), and 8. topsoil, compost, fertilizer, and montmorillonite clay (TCFM). Perlite was added to each flat without compost to make up for the difference in soil volume. Twenty four tomato seed of the Better Boy hybrid variety were planted in each flat. On June 8th, twelve plants from each treatment flat were transplanted individually to identical plastic pots containing the appropriate soil treatment. All plants received similar light, temperature, and moisture.

Results: The number of open blossoms through 39 days after transplanting was greatest for the TCFM treatment as reported in Figure 1. TCFM produced 19.4% more blossoms than the next best treatment, TF. TCFM produced 11.7% more tomato fruit by 46 days after transplanting compared to the next best treatment, TCM, as shown in Figure 2. Figure 3 shows TCM produced the largest mean tomato fruit mass of 140 grams followed by a mean of 118 grams for treatment TCFM (subjectively measured at the point of optimal ripeness). Figure 4 shows TM plants had the best health index based on severity of blight (8.22) compared the next best index for TCM (6.75). On day 82 after transplanting, all plants were rinsed free of soil and weighted for average green mass. Figure 5 shows TF had a best average green mass of 859.95 grams followed by TCFM with an average mass of 829.88 grams.

Conclusions: Treatments containing montmorillonite clay were superior to all other treatments in four of five measures taken on growth, plant health, and productivity. Montmorillonite clay was also a part of the second best treatment in four or the five measures. It seems apparent the trace mineral supplementation provided by montmorillonite clay supports better tomato performance than simple compost or NPK-fertilizer programs used independently or in combination.

Growth of Tomatoes using MONTMORILLONITE in Northern New Mexico Eric Ramirez-Jemez, NM Planting (and yields)

Planting in the passive solar greenhouse is different in several respects from planting outside here in northern New Mexico and many vegetables germinate more quickly and grow faster; I can plant earlier in the spring and later in the fall; harvests are longer; and many vegetables grow larger than their counter parts outside.

The more difficult it is to garden in your area, the more dramatic will be the difference between vegetables growing inside compared to outside the greenhouse. Looking for results from using MONTMORILLONITE trace mineral soil additive compared to similar plants with no supplementation. For those of you fortunate enough to garden easily in the summer, the passive solar greenhouse will give you excellent season extension and great winter growing options.

If, like me, you live in an arid or semi-arid climate, the increased humidity is nothing short of miraculous. For those of you living in more humid climates (and during the winter months for everyone) adequate spacing and ventilation is important to keep mold from growing.

Crop rotation and companion planting keeps the soil and plants healthy. Different parts of the greenhouse are warmer or cooler than other parts, and this also varies with the time of year. As you experiment over time to see how the greenhouse performs in your locale, you will find that you can grow many different vegetables simultaneously.

Growing Trials Research August 2, 2005-March 2, 2006

I had two specific goals concerning vegetable growing that were met the first season. Eggplants and peppers were setting fruit and being harvested into mid-October. This year (2005), with plants started and transplanted earlier, I hope to see them producing into November. Secondly, I wanted to harvest ripe tomatoes at Thanksgiving. In fact, on December 13, 48.5 pounds of ripe and green tomatoes were picked from 23 plants.

Ripe tomatoes in December (and green ones that ripened over the next month).

The tomatoes were transplanted into the greenhouse July 30-31 (having been started from seed on May 18) and produced over 106 pounds between September 6 and December 13, with yields increasing as the light increased in the rear beds.

I began picking broccoli on January 15 and continued into early April. Although the tomatoes weren’t weighed as it was picked, it produced tremendous amounts on huge plants, several of which were three feet high. Research concerning the different growing beds Total Yields, Fall 2005

  • Vegetable Lighter Soil West Bed Control Middle Bed Biodynamic Bed
  • Golden Nugget Tomato 11 lb., 3 oz. 6 lb., 9.5 oz. 8 lb., 5 oz.
  • Siletz Tomato 7 lb., 1.75 oz 9 lb., 12 oz. 4 lb., 4.25 oz.
  • Valencia Tomato 8 lb., 13.5 oz. 11 lb., 13 oz. 7 lb., 15 oz.
  • Pruden’s Purple Tomato 7 lb., 2.5 oz. 7 lb., 6 oz. 16 lb., 8.5 oz
  • Total Tomato Yield 34 lb., 4.75 oz. 35 lb., 8.5 oz. 36 lb.,12.5oz

Some generalizations (without the graphs and figures): the Biodynamic and Control/Middle beds of kale were more robust than the kale in the lighter soil/west bed. The carrots and spinach in the Bio bed did a little better than the other two beds. As for the MONTMORILLONITE vs. Control in all three bed preps: the tomatoes did significantly better in the control beds and the broccoli did significantly better in the MONTMORILLONITE beds. we concluded that broccoli, which likes a higher pH than tomatoes, was better able to utilize the minerals in the MONTMORILLONITE soil enhanced environment.

Ideal pH in general is 6.8, and the trace minerals in soil and soil amendments are more easily available and assimilated by plants growing in a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5. My soil pH was around 7.7, which is too alkaline. In preparing for the spring 2005 planting, I added 2 pounds of sulfur to each of the six sections, as well as more humic acid and compost.

A summary of what vegetables I planted: when, where and its "season."

P=Planted, TP=Transplanted, G=Growth, H=Harvest

VEGETABLE MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY

Peppers P G TP G GH GH

Eggplants P G TP G GH GH Bush beans P G GH

Carrots P G G G GH GH GH GH

Broccoli P G TP G GH GH GH GH GH

Kale P T TP G GH GH GH GH GH

Spinach P G G G G GH GH GH GH

Chinese Cabbage P G TP GH GH GH GH

Leaks P G G G G GH GH

P=Planted, TP=Transplanted, G=Growth, H=Harvest

VEGETABLE MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY Tomatoes P G G TP G GH GH GH Cucumbers P G TP G GH GH Peas P G G G GH GH GH

P=Planted,

TP=Transplanted, G=Growth, H=Harvest

VEGETABLE JAN FEB MAR APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC

Lettuce P G GH

Beets P G G G GH GH GH GH GH

Peppers P G TP GH GH GH GH GH

Eggplants P G TP G G GH GH GH

Tomatoes P G TP GH GH GH

Melons P TP G G GH

Summer Squash P TP G G GH

Bush Beans P G GH GH

Okra P G GH GH

Snow Peas P G G GH

Pole Beans P G G GH

Carrots P G G GH

Beets P G G GH

Kohlrabi P G G GH

Rutabaga P G G GH

Leeks P G TP G As this was updated mid-September, October through December is forecast.

P=Planted, TP=Transplanted, G=Growth, H=Harvest

VEGETABLES JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC

Spinach P G TP G GH

Lettuce P G TP GH GH

Red and Green Chard P G G GH GH GH GH GH GH GH GH GH

Peas P G G GH GH GH

Kohlrabi P G G G GH GH

Pole Beans P G G GH GH GH GH GH/P G G GH

Tomatoes P G TP GH GH GH GH GH GH GH

 

Eggplant P G TP G G GH GH GH

Pepper Red ripe P G TP G G GH GH GH

Lettuce P TP GH GH GH

Cauliflower P TP G GH GH GH

Cucumbers P TP G GH GH GH GH

Okra P G GH GH GH

Beets P TP GH GH

Lettuce P TP GH GH

Spinach P TP GH GH

Chinese Cabbage P G TP GH

Kale P G TP GH

Chard P G TP GH

Cauliflower P G TP G

Brussels Sprouts P G TP G

Broccoli P G TP G

Paprika

Pepper Late July, 2005

All through August the various peppers have been turning red, orange and yellow as they mature

By Mid August the Okras were producing my 1st ever in NM