Why Biotic Earth
Biotic Earth is our term for material that is derived from living organic material that can be used as a growth medium to help plants establish and sustain development long term. The Verdyol line of Biotic Earth hydraulic growth mediums uses Canadian Sphagnum peat moss as it is the longest lasting and most popular organic growing medium used by greenhouses and residential communities in the world.
Adding peat moss to soil improves the Cation (Cat- ion) Exchange Capacity, moisture holding properties and reduces the leaching of nutrients from the soil.
Let’s compare the water holding ability of different soils and organics. As you can see by this chart, one liter of peat moss holds 32% more moisture than compost and is only a fraction of the weight. When applied hydraulically by the pound, peat moss gives you more moisture holding ability for the dollar.
The Carbon nitrogen ratio is another way to compare soil amendments. This ratio is an indicator of the stability of the soil supplement. Lower ratios mean the supplement is very stable and will not draw down nutrients from the soil that plants need to grow.
“Mark, I have been using your product since we met at the show in Calgary a few years ago. I love it and use all the time. …there is nothing else like it. For jobs where I use it to replace soil, it’s very cost effective and an easy sell. I try to use it on almost all of my hydroseeding jobs because the results are so good. I have developed an entire niche service around it that no one else does. My new unit works with it flawlessly. Keep up the good work.”
~ Pierce Achtymichuk, Purewest Environmental Solutions Inc
In general carbon nitrogen ratios of 30 to 1 or lower are the best. Sawdust or wood fibers have the highest ratio at 400 to 1. Thus sawdust soaks up water and nutrients, robbing plants of the essential nutrients they need.
Compost, with a 30 to 1 rating, is nearly ideal. However compost breaks down quickly in the soil. Peat Moss at 50 to 1 is near compost on the carbon nitrogen scale. It does draw down a small amount of nitrogen fertilizer, but not enough to hurt plants. Plus Peat Moss will last for years in the soil and continue to supplement your plant community while it grows and replaces this organic material. When we lined up the benefits of Bulk Density, water holding capacity, air filled porosity, structure stability, pH, salinity, nutrient content and the amount of pathogens, pest and weeds, Peat moss was the best universal soil amendment by far. That’s why we use it as the base of our Biotic Earth growth mediums.
Wheat and flax straw is the erosion control component of our Growth Mediums used for its superior carbon nitrogen ratio and erosion control capabilities as compared to wood based products. Using wheat straw means there are no trees that need to be cut down or processed with water, bleaches or dyes to get the required fiber to prevent erosion. Wood can be recycled many times and using virgin wood fiber or even recycled paper mulches for their fiber length takes them out of their recycled life cycle earlier than necessary meaning more trees need to be harvested and less recycling. Straw fiber on the other hand can be recycled for the first time as a mulch fiber and there is an abundance created every year on the wheat fields of North America. Being the bench mark that all hydraulic products strive to compare themselves to, it made sense to make our Biotic Earth growth medium with the same base fiber as straw blankets.