The Toil for Healthy Spring Soil

Companion Biological Fungicide, Landscaper's BioNutrition 3-0-3, Recover RX 3-18-18
March 2015

One of the largest trees in the United States can be found in Goose Island State Park, near Lamar, Texas. Aptly called "The Big Tree," this Virginia Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) is a superb example of importance of healthy, balanced soil to its vitality and endurance. The huge tree, which is believed to be over 1,000 years old, has survived countless hurricanes, floods, droughts and even the wages of battle during assault on Lamar amid the Civil War.

The Big Tree
© 2007 Larry D. Moore - Source

After all this time it is still quite healthy, which is testimony to the care it has received over the years, however minimal, but vital to its continued fortitude as it gracefully grows well into old age. Tending to its needs, with basic fertilization and pruning, will provide the essential nutrients paramount for its resilience to harmful pathogens and abiotic stresses which older trees can be more predisposed to.

Unavoidable activities, such as excavating a site for new construction and even plowing can disturb the soil and effectively kill beneficial living organisms that would otherwise multiply and become available to the root system of plants. Fortunately, these beneficial organisms can be recouped without the addition of expensive topsoil, but rather by applying products to the soil that introduce beneficial organisms, most notably, bacillus and mychorrizae, which are found in Growth Products formulations such as Companion® Biological Fungicide and Landscaper's BioNutrition 3-0-3.

Maintaining nutrient levels and balance, also crucial to plant health, will prevent damaged and promote growth. Recover RX 3-18-18, is a highly soluble, unique blend designed to manage, rejuvenate and supplement standard soil fertility practices.

Soil Tests and pH

However, the first order of business for any farmer, horticulturalist, arborist or turf manager is to have a soil test done by a reputable soil test lab which will not only determine the nutrient make-up of the soil, but also measure its pH. It is important that pH be within the desirable range for what you are intending to grow, i.e., turf, tree, plant or crop type. If pH is not within the proper range the nutrients will be unavailable to the root system, leading to a multitude of deficiencies and poor health.

A soil test will reveal the nutrients, i.e., fertilizer needed to correct deficiencies and determine the amount of product necessary to adjust the pH (lime will "sweeten" the soil or raise pH while sulfur lowers pH). The chart below offers a more detailed explanation of the role that pH plays in unlocking the potential of different nutrients in the soil. For example, nitrogen is almost 100 percent available for plant uptake in soils in the 6.0 to 8.0 range, while its availability tapers off in more acidic and alkaline soils.

pH Chart

Spring Applications

The first spring application of any product should focus on stimulating and improving the health of the root system and implementing a soil revitalization program. The root system of any plant should be fully developed in order to take advantage of not only rain, which is increasingly sparse in some areas, but also the major and minor nutrients that are applied via fertilization. Water and nutrients will easily slip through the soil profile if roots are not sufficiently developed.

Products with mycorrhizae and biological organisms have been shown to greatly enhance the development of healthy roots. In fact, mycorrhizae itself acts like a root, attaching to the root system of a plant and extending several feet away from the roots, thus boosting nutrient and water accessibility. Both of these biological organisms multiply in the soil, offering many other long term benefits.

For this spring we recommend products with a 1:1 ratio of phosphorus (P), and potash (potassium) (K). Recover RX 3-18-18 is a good example of a product with this ratio and an excellent choice for an initial application of nutrients for rapid stimulation and development of the root system. This ideal ratio in combination with the Salicylic acid (SA), a natural plant phytohormone, found in Recover RX, will also bring strained plants out of stress and decline.

Much like those biologicals that have sustained "The Big Tree", but are often lost during construction or plowing on your site, learn the secret to what growers in some of the toughest soil conditions the world over have done: apply our patented Companion Biological Fungicide.

With Companion you're introducing Bacillus subtilis GB03, a naturally occurring beneficial biological bacteria (and other biologicals) that will multiply in the soil and provide long term benefits to plants. In addition the fungicidal properties of Companion, it will also provide protection against plant disease. By recommending Companion I've been able to offer my customers a dual efficacy product for both plant health and nutrition. The bacillus in conjunction with the rich organic formulation in Companion improves the soil profile safeguarding plants from disease while improving nutrient absorption.

Our exclusive products, like Landscaper's BioNutrition 3-0-3 introduce mycorrhizae fungi and other helpful ingredients to the soil. It can be applied to recently seeded or sodded turf and when planting trees and shrubs it offers a combination of kelp, L-amino acids, Humic acid, and exclusive slow-release nitrogen which provide food for the beneficial bacteria. It also introduces Endo and Ectomycorrhizae fungi, ensuring the establishment of favorable microbes in the soil.

Biological additives, like the bacillus in Companion and mycorrhizae in Landscaper's BioNutrition, coupled with the very low salt index in our fertilizers, make Growth Products not only a safer, but a more economical solution to plant nutrition.