The all-natural plant health care program at Shady Lane
At Shady Lane we have a multi-faceted program to restore the natural beneficial processes of living soil. With Organic Soil Solutions, our goal is whole-site soil restoration, for the benefit of all (plants, people, pets, and the planet).
Starting with a site visit and consultation, we custom-create a plan to restore your soil. This plan may include compost tea applications with added mycorrhizal inoculants to increase the number of beneficial fungi in the soil, and the addition of organic matter, soil conditioners, and organic fertilizers. We work with our clients to develop a program that works for them.
Our Complete Program
Organic Soil Solutions runs from the end of May to the end of October. Our recommended “Complete” program includes four site visits. These applications can be modified in any way, depending on your site and needs. We can easily add or subtract treatments and treatment areas.
With our complete program, we target the whole green scape including lawns, beds, and trees, with some treatments as a surface drench, others as foliar treatment, and some as a deep root injections. Each application is slightly different depending on the time of year and can be modified to fit your needs.
If you aren’t ready to dive into the complete program, you may opt for alternating a chemical fertilizer with a compost tea treatment. Or, if you are already doing organic soil treatments, you may opt for our maintenance program of one to two compost tea treatments per year. Whatever you decide, our dedicated staff will do our best to make sure your green space thrives.
Choose one or more of the following applications
1. Spring Drench, Foliar and Feed - for lawn and leaves
Surface drench compost tea on all soil and foliar spray compost tea on all leaves up to 3m in Spring , to amend soil and foliage with the proper ratio of micro-organisms.
+ Broadcast a premium compost blend, including vermicastings and biochar, designed to kickstart beneficial soil biology to improve nutrient uptake, boost CEC, refine soil structure and maximize plant health.
2. Early Summer Deep Root and Fertilize - for trees, shrubs and flowerbeds
Deep Root-inject fungal compost tea in summer to amend soil with the proper ratio of micro-organisms and foods to the soil.
+ Broadcast a gentle nitrogen-based organic fertilizer, rich in biostimulants and plant growth promoting hormones. The alfalfa component increases plant stress tolerance and provides food for the soil food web community.
3. Late Summer Drench and Fertilize - for thirsty plants and hungry microbes
Surface drench compost tea in summer / fall on the whole site to amend soil with the proper ratio of micro-organisms and foods to the soil.
+ Broadcast a well-rounded organic fertilizer that is high in calcium and magnesium. This will address a plant's micro-and-macro nutrient needs, make plants less susceptible to diseases and pests, and help improve soil structure.
4. Fall Deep Root and Feed - for beneficial fungi and trees
Deep Root-inject fungal compost tea in fall to amend soil with the proper ratio of micro-organisms and foods to the soil.
+ Broadcast granulated compost designed to nourish beneficial soil biology, nutrient uptake, refine soil structure and maximize plant health.
Benefits of a healthy, living soil
- Slow-release of nutrients means long-term, constant supply to plants (and no leaching).
- Organic matter decomposes, enhancing soil structure and nutrient availability to plants.
- Micro-and-macronutrients are made available to plants in the forms they need, as they need them. As long as there is enough organic matter in the soil and chemical inputs are minimal, a healthy soil food web is all that a plant needs to thrive.
- Micro-and-macroaggregates are formed, decreasing compaction; increasing root aeration while also balancing water holding capacity.
- A reduction in pests and disease through competition and predator-prey interactions with beneficial microbes.
No harmful effects on the environment or animal/human health.
Trained and Certified by The Soil Food Web School
Our compost and compost tea are made using the methods of the Soil Food Web School. Founded by Dr. Elaine Ingham, the Soil Food Web School trains “microbe farmers” how to make high-qualitycompost and compost tea by using diverse and local ingredients, keeping compost and teas aerobic, and using a microscope to further study the product.
Our lead brewmaster is certified by the Soil Food Web school to perform microbial analysis and reports. These analyses enumerate the different microbes, and interpret the Fungal to Bacterial ratio (F:B) in relation to the plants we wish to grow. With this information, we can better cater a soil restoration program to address what is missing in the soil. We can also study and develop better compost and compost tea recipes, and ensure their safety.
There are many great videos on Youtube by the Soil Food Web School if you would like to learn more about this fascinating topic.
To help guide the success of the program, we take several baseline measurements. Soil tests, including microbial analysis, lets us see how well the addition of compost tea is working, and leaf chlorophyll fluorescence measurement help us document changes in tree/shrub health that may not be captured by the naked eye. We may also observe soil texture, compaction, plant communities, and ask for your thoughts, as additional metrics of interest. All this together will inform how the program is working, and if it needs to be tweaked. We have several tools available to enhance a basic compost tea program, including soil conditioners (to modify pH naturally), organic matter inputs (compost and mulch), and organic fertilizers (microbial foods). It would not be too surprised if it took a few years for the microbes to get established, but with a commitment to going organic, we expect soil-and plant-health to improve to the point that we can decrease the number of applications to a maintenance program, resulting in net cost-savings and a superior greenscape for you to enjoy for years to come.
Let us know if you would like additional microbial testing and leaf chlorophyll analysis. We can create a report and help you interpret your results.
Consulting and Outreach
Interested in having us speak at one of your events? Organic Soil Solutions has presented at Humber College, Fleming College, Landscape Ontario Congress, International Society of Arborists-Ontario Conference, Ontario Commercial Arborists Association, and local at local gardening and farming societies. We believe the first step to going organic is understanding. Let us share this with you today.
Connect with our soil biologist for a 30min complimentary consultation or to book a presentation.
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