Tree plantings are very public, especially street trees, and failure is therefore equally visible. Vandalism aside, there are other pressures placed on newly planted trees which can stress new plantings and raise mortality rates. Low rainfall and high temperatures, radiant heat from paved surfaces, extremes of sun and shade, soil compaction and poor soils generally – all can place stress on newly planted stock.
However, tree planting with a plant establisher like TerraCottem significantly increases survival rates. TerraCottem’s co-polymers surround plant roots with water, extending survival between irrigation or rainfall events. Fertilizers provide much needed nutrients and natural growth stimulating elements fast-track plant development. Working together, all these factors build soil health providing newly planted stock a significantly higher chance to survive the critical period just following planting, and for many years after.
Successful street tree planting projects need to start with the right choice of trees, and these trees need to be adapted to both the site’s soil and the climate conditions. Street trees need to be of good nursery stock, and careful attention must be paid to digging the right sized plant hole. The optimum size of the plant hole is something that clients receive specialist advice about, as part of the product package.
To read more detail about case studies involving street tree planting, click here.
Turf – whether a sports field, golf course or established lawn – has the same needs. Great looking, resilient turf comes from careful management of a complex set of factors, among them: soil structure, available nutrients, pH & cation exchange capacity, irrigation, drainage, pests and diseases, grass species selection, and wear.
Good management produces a functional turf: a sports turf that holds up to the schedule of games on the field; a golf course that exceeds players’ expectations; a glorious sweep of lawn to set off a garden landscape.
TerraCottem helps to achieve all this. Applied at site preparation stage – whether seeded, turfed or sprigged – it promotes faster & better germination and turf establishment. As the grass grows, TerraCottem’s fertilizers and natural growth stimulating elements promote stronger and deeper root development. At the same time TerraCottem’s co-polymers surround the roots with water, maintaining optimum levels between irrigation or rainfall events. Working together as a plant establisher, these factors make for a healthy, richly microbial soil and resilient turf: less easily damaged, less easily stressed, less needy in terms of water, fertilisers and other chemicals.
Click here to see our case studies about establishing turf in tough Australian conditions.
Anyone designing and constructing landscape projects understands the need for plant establishment with minimum loss and maximum good looks. And while many projects have the luxury of enviable soils and ample water, others do not.
Where there is a challenge, TerraCottem raises the survival rate by addressing the stress factors that come with a difficult setting. TerraCottem’s co-polymers surround plant roots with water, building a higher resistance to wilting and drought stress. Fertilizers provide much needed nutrients in poorer soils and the natural growth stimulating elements fast track plant development, quickly producing healthy, well fleshed-out plants. Working together, all these factors act as a soil improver, maximising plant survival and good looks early on and for many years after. And where flowers are concerned, by reducing plant stress, there are not only more of them, but often over an extended season.
Of course where growing conditions are ideal, TerraCottem offers the same benefits – including a reduced need for irrigation – as well as acting as a buffer against potentially difficult times.
For more about improving soil with TerraCottem, and to read case studies for some of our recent landscape projects, click here.
The growing movement to green the world’s cities has helped to develop sophisticated systems to support plants on our rooftops.
The engineering beneath roof gardens has moved away from deep soil systems (and the need to support their weight), to new substrates made out of lightweight materials. Despite this, successfully planting roof gardens remains a challenge as green roofs generally have a shallow root zone (varying between 10 and 20 cm) and are subject to extremes of temperature, wind and water.
Soil conditioning is needed and incorporating TerraCottem into the growing medium improves the success of rooftop plantings by addressing each of these stress factors. TerraCottem’s co-polymers surround plant roots with water, extending survival between irrigation or rainfall events. Fertilizers provide much needed nutrients and natural growth stimulating elements fast-track plant development. Working together, all these factors build soil health – essential in a shallow root zone – increasing survival rates of a broader selection of plants.
Click here for case studies about roof gardens using TerraCottem.
The primary function of flowering annuals and perennials in the landscape is to put on a floral show. Whether in planters or garden beds, in private, commercial or public landscapes, there is an expectation of a glorious display.
The use of TerraCottem’s unique soil conditioning technology helps to achieve impressive floral displays, even when conditions for growing plants are not ideal, by reducing plant stress in several ways. TerraCottem’s co-polymers surround plant roots with water, extending periods between irrigation cycles. Fertilizers provide much needed nutrients, and natural growth stimulating elements fast-track plant development. Working together, all these factors build soil health, helping plants to flesh out, withstand wilting conditions and flower prolifically.
For case studies about flowering plants and reducing plant stress, click here.
Landcare and Revegetation
By definition, a successful landcare or revegetation project is one where a high percentage of plants survive to grow on to maturity. Plant survival rates are crucial to success.
However in many situations, low rainfall and high temperatures place stress on newly planted stock. Poor soils – from erosion, mining, industrial activity or simply, nutrient poor – add further stress to new plantings, raising mortality rates.
As a soil conditioner, TerraCottem raises the survival rate by addressing each of these additional stress factors. TerraCottem’s co-polymers surround plant roots with water, extending survival between irrigation or rainfall events. Fertilizers provide much needed nutrients and natural growth stimulating elements fast-track plant development. Working together, all these factors build soil health providing newly planted stock a significantly higher chance to survive the critical period just following planting, and for many years after.
It’s also worth noting that TerraCottem improves growing conditions in degraded soils by limiting the amount of salinity or contamination available to plant roots – a valuable tool when attempting to restore vegetation in areas reclaimed from the sea or from mines, dumps and industrial areas.
TerraCottem is an essential part of any bush regenerator’s toolkit, and is used all around Australia by bushcare groups, landcare groups and by Greening Australia. Click here to read more.
Services, Workshops and Evaluations
The improved plant survival rates and plant growth gained through using TerraCottem aren’t just due to the product’s physical and chemical make-up. The support offered by TerraCottem’s supplier — in various forms — plays an essential part.
At the outset, TerraCottem staff are available to contribute their expertise in a variety of ways: to clearly define the point-of-need and design a project plan; to organise tests for soil and water quality; to set project objectives and measurement guidelines; to offer a cost benefit analysis; to draw up planting specifications; to offer site support such as equipment selection and calibration.
Training is also offered to maximise the benefit offered by TerraCottem – through engaging and interactive workshops, delivered by qualified trainers and offered in flexible units to be tailored to a client’s needs. These workshops not only aim to identify the various tools available to improve establishment and maintenance, they also seek to equip managers and field staff with the special knowledge and skills needed to make the best use of TerraCottem – from establishment through to ongoing maintenance.
The follow-up site visits are another critical support mechanism. These audits document the outcomes, offering valuable data to set actual plant growth and establishment rates against the objectives defined at the outset of a project. This information is an essential part of a management feedback loop, informing future maintenance decisions. (For more info about our training and support services, visit our case studies page.)