The propagation and finishing of landscape plants for the contractor and homeowner markets has been highly refined and streamlined over time. Sterile media, high analysis commercial fertilizers and frequent irrigation produce consistent, high-quality results above the soil line. But are these plants adapted to the many planted (soil) environments where they will end up?
The emphasis on producing plants that measure-up and grade to a high-quality standard makes complete sense; the value of your crop is determined by these metrics. But shouldn’t the success of the plants after they leave your care be a part of the equation too? Regular irrigation (programmed to completely avoid any plant stress) and a continuous application of reactive (plant-available) nutrients produce big calipre and dense foliage. But are the root systems of these plants ready to fend for themselves when this regime comes to an end on a landscape site?
Numerous published science studies and extensive research conducted at the University of Guelph have shown that we need to pay attention to the microbial environment below the soil line. Unlike a potted flowering crop produced in a greenhouse, nursery grown landscape plants need to be prepared to adapt to the planted environment – the root system needs to be readied for the transition to the landscape. Studying plants in natural settings has revealed a fascinating relationship between the plant we see above grade and millions of beneficial microbes in the soil environment below. When we grow landscape plants without concern for the microbial health of soil, we may not be equipping them for success once they leave the nursery.
One of the essential relationships observed in natural ecosystems is a mutually beneficial symbiosis between vascular plants and mycorrhizal fungi that help the roots to acquire water and nutrients. The plant host is entirely ‘in charge’ of this relationship; based on its moment to moment requirements, the plant will engage or disengage any number of microbial soil communities to perform a needed task. As such, the availability of a diverse microbial soil community can be a highly limiting (or highly beneficial) factor in plant success.
Unfortunately, urban and suburban landscape soils often lack healthy levels of beneficial microbes. This is entirely unsurprising considering how we build our cities, towns, and infrastructure. The living communities of microbes in soils are heavily impacted by construction and other stressors. Without a dynamic community of beneficial soil microbes to assist them, plants installed in damaged urban soils develop (or continue to have) a dependency on applied water and nutrients. One misstep: over or under watering, failing to provide (or over-supplying) nutrients can lead to plant stress or even failure. When we see this reaction in newly installed landscape plants, we call it ‘Transplant Shock’. Root Rescue has shown that we can easily do something about this. We can put essential microbial life back into soils and give plants the microbial soil partners that will help them survive short-term transplant stress - and help them to thrive in the long-term as well.
Transplanter MS-CS contains 18 different species of both endo and ectomycorrhizal fungi and 2 natural-sourced biostimulants. The formulation is a highly concentrated wettable powder that mixes easily in water (no slurry stage when mixing). The solution can be delivered to the root zone of plants at either the beginning of the production process or in the final stages of finishing the crop. Having a healthy community of mycorrhizal fungi associated with plants roots has many cost-saving benefits for a grower: irrigation schedules can be scaled back, and expensive applied nutrients can be reduced - without compromising crop growth or health. And once the mycorrhizal symbiosis has engaged, the microbial community will travel with the plant roots to the landscape site. Your crops can be less costly to grow with reduced input costs, sized-up beautifully and more likely to perform well when planted out – all good news for you - and for the clients who buy your plants.
We would encourage you to both integrate Transplanter into your production systems and also supply Transplanter MS-CS to contractors. Become a Root Rescue Dealer today, click here to connect with our Distributor: Redbud Supply.