The Forest Floor versus Your Floor

BioNutrients 8-0-9, BioNutrients Total-Pak Injectable, The Landscaper’s BioNutrition 3-0-3 Granular

Did you ever wonder why the trees in a forest grow so well when no one is fertilizing them? It almost seems unfair. After all, trees and shrubs that we carefully fertilize and protect usually aren’t as healthy or as vigorous as the trees left alone in the forest.

“What gives?” you might ask. Well, what gives is powerful army of microscopic beneficial bacteria and fungi that naturally inhabit the forest floor.

Mother Nature’s Groundskeeping Team

These beneficial microorganisms are Mother Nature’s groundskeeping team who tidy the accumulation of leaf litter on the forest floor. The leaf litter, left alone, does not feed trees or plants. But the groundskeeping microbes decompose the leaf litter and other forest debris into nutrients that tree roots can readily absorb. And in ways that plant scientists are only now coming to understand, the microbes repel pathogens and improve overall plant health and physiology.i

In a forest ecosystem, these valuable soil-dwelling bacteria come in many strains – including Bacillus subtilis, B. licheniformis, B. amyloliquefaciens, B. pumilus and others.

Bacillus subtilis spores populating the root hairs

Comparing Soils

So how does the “floor” of your golf course, lawn, or landscape compare to the forest floor? It’s probably seriously lacking in the beneficial microorganisms that make the forest healthy. As a consequence, your trees, shrubs and turf probably suffer.

When urban soils are disturbed by bulldozers and compaction, built with a high sand content – and when they are repeatedly exposed to toxic herbicides and pesticides – the good bacteria are stripped away. To improve urban soils, green industry professionals can re-introduce the organic materials and microbes found in natural ecosystems.

The Growth Product's Solution

Growth Products has long been an industry pioneer in harnessing the power of nature’s microorganisms. In the mid 90’s, Growth Products’ investment in bio-tech research lead to the “eureka” development of spore stabilization for beneficial rhizosphere bacteria, including Bacillus subtilis. Growth Products’ ability to stabilize Bacillus subtilis and package it for commercial use was a true break-through that helped change the way we think about plant growth and health.

Growth Products continues to innovate and offers new ways to nourish soils and landscapes. Three of its newest products are:

  • BioNutrients™ 8-0-9 for Fairways, Sports Turf & Lawn. A dry concentrate that is fully soluble in water, BioNutrients 8-0-9 neutralizes soil salts, promotes fast rooting, improves turf color, and makes turf better able to withstand stress. It contains L-amino acids, humic acids, kelp extracts, and other carbon-rich molecules that sustain the microbial growth set loose by its mix of wild yeast and four species of beneficial rhizosphere bacillus – B. subtilis, B. licheniformis. B. amylolique, and B. pumilis.

  • BioNutrients Total-Pak Injectable. Designed to improve the health and growth of deciduous and evergreen trees, Total-Pack Injectable provides seven stains of mycorrhizal fungi, multiple strains of beneficial bacteria – including Bacillus subtilis, B. licheniformis, B. amyloliquefaciens and B. pumilus – and seven key micronutrients (Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Molybdenum, and Zinc).

  • The Landscaper’s BioNutrition 3-0-3 Granular with Mycorrhizal Technology for Trees and Planting. Combining 11 strains of mycorrhizae, five strains of beneficial soil bacteria, natural biostimulants, and Viterra® Gelscapes for moisture management, the Landscaper’s BioNutrition is a “must-have” for planting and transplanting trees and shrubs.

Can’t decide which product is perfect for your situation, or want more information on our BioNutrients products? Give Growth Products’ Technical Team a call. We’re here to help!


i Fighting Microbes with Microbes: Doctors turn to good microbes to fight disease. Will the same strategy work with crops? Amy Coombs, The Scientist, January 1, 2013.