Back to Basics: Root and Soil Health

Essential Plus 1-0-1, Companion Biological Fungicide, BioNutrients 8-0-9, BioNutrients 8-1-9, BioNutrients Total-Pak, Landscaper's BioNutrition 3-0-3.
September 2015

How many times have you heard someone say, "Let's get to the root of the situation"? Or "What's the root cause of this issue"?

These common phrases remind us, in the green industry, that actual plant roots should never be neglected. The health of our crops, turf, and trees ultimately depends on the health of their roots.

In agriculture, a vigorous root system will result in more fruit, nuts, berries, and vegetables. In turf, roots that descend deeply into the soil will make for better-looking and more playable golf courses and baseball fields, more productive sod farms, and attractive lawns. Trees and shrubs with well-developed roots will have healthier canopies, stronger trunks, and be less susceptible to insects and disease.

Focus On the Fundamentals

Good roots are only possible in good soil, and fortunately the care and feeding of the two go hand-in-hand.

For creating and maintaining healthy soil and root systems, a grower or turf manager needs to provide lots of organic matter and beneficial microbes to the soil. Growth Products' three easy-to-use formulations, Essential® Plus, Companion®, and BioNutrients®, will do just that with the utmost effectiveness and efficiency!

Essential® Plus 1-0-1 puts valuable organics and carbohydrates into the soil. By adding organics to depleted soils, Essential® Plus improves soil structure, combats soil compaction, increases water penetration and a soil's nutrient holding capacity. A rich, highly concentrated solution, Essential® Plus contains humic acids, amino acids, natural plant hormones, kelp extracts, yucca extracts and an array of natural bio-stimulants that promote root elongation and branching. In agricultural settings, Essential® also enhances blossom formation and fruit set to significantly boost crop yield. It can be applied year-round as a spray or drench.

Companion Biological Fungicide® was the first EPA-registered liquid biologic fungicide in the U.S. market, and still your best first-line defense against disease. Not only does it provide proven results against pathogens, Companion® also simultaneously works to build strong plant roots! Traditional chemical pesticides harm plant roots by leaving behind small amounts of toxic materials in the soils and causing soil micronutrient deficiencies. The harmful chemical residues change the way a plant makes proteins, and this in turn makes plants more susceptible to disease stress. In contrast, Companion® leaves beneficial microbes in the soil - microbes that rebuild plant proteins, improve the soil, and help build root mass. The way Companion® works is fascinating, and you can learn more on Companion's® YouTube video here.

The BioNutrients® line of products includes BioNutrients™ 8-0-9 for Fairways, Sports Turf & Lawn; BioNutrients 8-1-9 for Agriculture; BioNutrients Total-Pak Injectable for use in growing deciduous and evergreen trees; and The Landscaper's BioNutrition 3-0-3 Granular with Mycorrhizal Technology for Trees and Planting. All of these products contain multiple strains of soil-dwelling bacteria (including Bacillus subtilis, B. licheniformis, B. amyloliquefaciens, B. pumilus and others). These 'good bacilli' break down debris to make soil nutrients more readily available for uptake through roots.

In addition to beneficial bacteria, Total Pak contains seven strains of mycorrhizal fungi and seven key micronutrients. BioNutrition 3-0-3 contains 11 strains of mycorrhizae, plus natural biostimulants. The mycorrhizal fungi in both products colonize the soil, where they form a symbiotic relationship with a plant's root system. The fungi literally extend the plant's roots with white, filament-type threads. The result is better nutrient uptake (particularly of phosphorus, potassium and magnesium), better mineral uptake, and increased water absorption by the plant.

If you would like help getting to the "root cause" of your problem - be it soil compaction, poor crop growth, disease-prone turf, soil salinity, weak branching, or general lack of plant vigor - please give us a call at (800) 648-7626. We'd be glad to help tailor a turn-around plan just for you.

Don't forget, at Growth Products we are always "rooting" for you!