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I've been gardening and writing about gardening for more than 20 years, yet I find I'm always learning new things about the plants, insects and other critters that call my backyard home. That's the great thing about gardening — it's never boring! I've worked as a landscaper, on an organic farm, as a research technician in a plant pathology lab and ran a small cut-flower business, all of which inform my garden writing. Someone once asked me when I'll be finished with my gardens, to which I replied, "Never!" For me, gardening is a process, not a goal.
LIKE a healthy aboveground ecosystem, healthy soil contains a vibrant community of living organisms, many of which are microscopic but play an outsized role in supporting the plant life above. These microbes include an astonishing array of fungi, bacteria and protozoa — scientists estimate that there are more of them in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on the earth!
Mycorrhizae (my-co-RISE-ee), also called root fungi, form one important group of beneficial microbes. These specialized fungi attach to a plant's roots, and then form a web of filaments called hyphae that reach far into the soil. These filaments act as extensions of the plant's roots, exponentially increasing the surface area of the roots and boosting the plant's ability to take up water and nutrients. They also release powerful enzymes that help extract nutrients that would otherwise be unavailable to plants.
Mycorrhizae improve a plant's resilience to stress, including drought and temperature extremes, and they help minimize transplant shock. In return, the plant provides the mycorrhizae with the sugars they need for energy, resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship between plant and fungi.
We've harnessed the power of mycorrhizae in our new and improved potting mixes. For gardeners, this translates to healthier plants with up 35% higher yields compared to soil mixes without mycorrhizae.
Our exclusive soil blends are ready to grow your healthiest, most robust plants. How do we know? We tested them, in our trial gardens and at 14 test sites across the country. Results show that our new soils promote healthier foliage, more blooms and a bigger, better harvest.
Pepper seedlings grown in competitor's potting mix, left, vs. our
Organic Seed Starting Mix with Bio-Blended Compost, right.
Basil seedlings growing in competitor's potting mix, left, vs. our new Potting Mix with SuperRoot Booster, right.
Cucumber seedlings growing in competitor's potting mix, left, vs. our new Potting Mix with SuperRoot Booster, right.
Tomato plants growing in a variety of potting mixes at one of our test sites.
Evaluating plant growth in different potting mixes.
Plant on left was grown in our Organic Potting Mix with Bio-Blended Compost; plant on right was grown in a competitor’s potting soil.
Last updated: 8/7/18
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