Actively Aerated Compost Tea
Custom blended liquid amendments have replaced the traditional fertilizer applications. Our emphasis is on feeding the soil. Healthy soil will provide for all the nutritional needs of plants and do so naturally.
See our ad in the
Sonoma County Gazette's 2010 Nursery Tour & Gardener's Resource Guide
ORGANIC LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT
Pacific Landscapes is committed to providing landscape management services in as sustainable a process as possible. In March of 2009, Pacific Landscapes began substituting organic fertilizer products for the traditional synthetic fertilizers typically used in the industry. The next 12 months were spent refining the process to create an organic soil fertility program that is being exclusively used on all landscape maintenance projects managed by Pacific Landscapes. We are providing this enhanced service to all our clientele at no additional cost. Unlike traditional synthetic fertilizer programs that contaminate water supplies, release airborne pollutants and degrade soil biology, our organic programs are building healthy soils.
Why organics? Click on the following external links for additional reading:
- Safe-Fertilizer-Reviews - So Why Are Chemical Fertilizers So Bad?
- Safe-Fertilizer-Reviews - The Other Dead Zone
- Beyond Pesticides - Pesticides and Playing Fields
- Organic Valley - Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizers
Our Organic Landscape Management Program includes:
ORGANIC SOIL FERTILITY
The foundation of our organic soil fertility programs is to build healthy soils. Just a handful of healthy soil contains billions of beneficial microbial bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes.
Working together these microbes:
- Improve soil structure by increasing aeration
- Increase soil water holding capacity reducing irrigation needs
- Produce larger and stronger root systems for drought resistance
- Cycle and store nutrients,reducing the need for fertilizer inputs
- Create a natural management system for pest and disease
- Create growing conditions that discourage weed infestation
Our fertility programs include applications of liquid amendment blends. In addition to organic fertilizers, our proprietary blends include mineral supplements, biology inocculants (compost tea), bio-stimulants and biology food sources. The actual fertilizer portion of our mixes is less then half the portions used traditionally. The focus of our fertility programs is to enhance soil structure and healthy soil biology. A healthy soil will provide for plant needs without excess fertilizer inputs.
Each time we take on a new project that has been cared for using traditional synthetics, we propose an enhanced soil fertility program to 'jump-start' the conversion of soil health. We are seeing significant positive soil attributes in just six months time.
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ORGANIC TURF MANAGEMENT
Branded as a 'Water Waster', turf grass is blamed for polluting water supplies with synthetic fertilizers and contaminating soils with pesticides. It has become an 'Eco-Friendly' practice to remove turf.
On the flip side, the benefits of turf grass can go way beyond the aesthetics. Sustainably managed, turf grass is an effective planting for carbon sequestration, has a tremendous cooling effect on the atmosphere, slows down and filters pollutants from storm-water runoff and captures rain-water to recharge ground water supplies.
Understanding the value of the benefits, Pacific Landscapes has taken steps towards sustainable turf management, without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Considering most existing landscapes contain significant proportions of turf grass, managing turf grass as sustainably as possible is being responsible.
Pacific Landscapes is proud to announce our new pilot program to provide organic turf management. As a supplement to our existing organic soil fertility program, we are piloting new programs to provide organic management of pests, disease and weeds.
Our fertility program for turf includes six applications of liquid amendments each year. Two of the applications include actively aerated compost tea, once each spring and again in the fall. For our organic turf pilot projects we include our enhanced soil fertility program.
The enhanced fertility program is based on laboratory performed soil analysis. Two separate tests are run, performed by different specialty labs. A basic test of available nutrients and minerals is used to balance specific mineral ratios resulting in flocculation (make fluffy) of compacted soils. This opens up pore space, alleviating anaerobic conditions, paving the way for healthy soil biology. The second laboratory soil analysis is to measure microbial populations. By achieving the desired balance of microbes we further improve soil structure, maximize the soils ability to cycle and store nutrients, put a natural system in place to manage pest and disease and reduce the incidence of weed infestation. Based on the laboratory test results, custom blended applications of actively aerated compost tea, specific mineral supplements, bio-stimulants and biology food sources are performed throughout the first year.
To increase soil organic matter content, organic turf pilot projects are mechanically aerated followed by a compost top dressing performed on an annual basis each fall.
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ORGANIC PEST CONTROL
Our organic pest management program is applied both to turf plantings and to garden ornamentals. Like our organic soil fertility program, our organic pest management program is also being exclusively used on all landscape maintenance projects managed by Pacific Landscapes.
Actively aerated compost tea is the newest tool in our pest control artillery. Through our soil fertility program, compost tea is applied as a soil drench to inoculate the rhizosphere (area immediately adjacent to plant roots) with a diverse population of beneficial microbial organisms. These beneficial microbes protect plants from pest and disease by covering potential infection sites and out competing disease-causing organisms for food, inhibiting their growth. Plant inhabitation of microbial organisms also stimulates plant production of natural occurring enzymes building up the plant immune systems.
The same principles work above ground. The plant phyllosphere (above ground plant surface areas) also house a wide diversity of beneficial microorganisms. We perform compost tea foliar applications as a preventative procedure to plantings with a history of pest infestation and to plantings displaying signs of stress.
In exchange for protection from pest and disease pathogens, sugars produced by plants through the process of photosynthesis are excreted through root, stem and leaf surfaces to feed beneficial microbial populations.
By combining sound cultural practices with our new advances in biological controls, Pacific Landscapes is able to control most pest and disease infestations without resorting to the use of synthetic pesticides.
Eliminating toxic pesticides allows natural populations of beneficial microbes and beneficial insects to become established. Just one lady bug can consume 800 aphids during its lifetime.
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Fig. 1 - Installation of cardboard for sheet mulching.
Fig. 2 - Sheet mulching for weed control in a Forestville vineyard
ORGANIC WEED CONTROL
Accomplishing a successful program for organic weed control provided at a reasonable cost is really 'raising the bar' in the commercial landscape management industry. Pacific Landscapes is rising to the challenge.
When considering organic landscape maintenance, the biggest challenge we face is weed control. Have you ever wondered when you plant a garden why the weeds out grow the desired plants? One reason is that there are specific conditions that exist in our soils that select for weed growth over the desirable landscape ornamentals.
Pacific Landscapes has identified key growing conditions that we adjust through our organic soil fertility process to give desirable landscape plants a competitive edge over weeds, reducing the need for herbicides. This is all part of the processes of soil balancing and establishing healthy soil biology.
In consultation with Nick E. Christians, Ph.D. (Turf Science Department, Iowa State University), Pacific Landscapes is using a corn gluten hydrolysate product as an organic pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weed seeds from germinating. We are applying this product on our organic turf management pilot projects.
Sheet mulching, applying layers of paper or cardboard, compost, and wood chips over bare ground surfaces is the preferred 'Bay Friendly' weed suppression practice. Figures 1 & 2 (left) demonstrate sheet mulching preformed as part of an organic management program at a boutique vineyard location.
Charging forward with our commitment to providing landscape management services in as sustainable a process as possible Pacific Landscapes is now offering organic weed control for the entire landscape on a pilot project basis.
Our Organic Weed Control pilot projects start with the enhanced soil fertility program to build healthy soils that give our desired plants the competitive edge.
To further suppress weeds, a layer of coarse textured mulch is applied and maintained at a minimum depth of 2″.
We use our proprietary corn gluten hydrolysate product to prevent new weed seeds from germinating. Unlike synthetic pre-emergent herbicides that degrade soil health, our corn gluten applications promote healthy biology.
Contact us for a consultation. We would love to bring you aboard.
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This Page Updated on November 2, 2010