More than 90% of the plant-oriented research is done for agriculture. A little research is done for golf courses and sports fields. At the very bottom of the list is “ornamental landscapes” - landscapes that exist for solely aesthetic purposes. That includes the plant life in local parks, shopping malls and your backyard. Almost no one is allocating research dollars to make them better.
In fact, while the tools and processes in agriculture have been moving forward at light speed, most lawns are being maintained the way they were 30 years ago. Very little of the knowledge and few of the improvements Ag research has taught us has been brought into landscape maintenance. That’s a shame because plants in our parks and lawns operate the same way as plants on farms, vineyards and orchards.
About 30 years ago, our co-founder and senior agronomist, Professor Bill Nolde, noticed this lag. He began using grape research to grow better grass and potato research to grow prettier petunias. He became so skilled at adopting Ag research to the landscaping world that he started consulting for clients like the Rose Rowl, the Professional Golf Association and the Bob Hope Estate. Cool? Yes.
What’s more exciting is that the pace and flow of agricultural research has been exploding around two key themes: Conservation (doing more with less) and Organic/Natural plant management.
How it works
The driving science behind Alter Eco Agronomics products is feeding microorganisms in the soil instead of solely targeting plant growth. When fed, the resident soil microorganisms rapidly multiply and die naturally releasing all of the nutrient elements, phytohoromones, and trace minerals needed for plants to grow their very best. There are at least 17 plant nutrients necessary for proper metabolic functions to take place; in addition dozens of amino acids, hormones, and plant vitamins are needed for proper plant growth. All of these are provided by soil microbes for plant root absorption. They are designed to give a short term but highly visible growth spurt. Simply put; Transformation feeds microorganisms, which feed the soil, which feed the plants in a process that looks a little something like the diagram above.
The idea of fixing the soil by feeding microorganisms instead of feeding the plant directly is the major point of differentiation between our products and what we know as synthetic fertilizers. You can relate Transformation, the flagship product of Alter Eco’s product line, to a good quality compost on steroids. Compost works very slowly and Transformation works very quickly in comparison; about 10 times as fast, on average.