Last week we looked at some of the successful strategies employed by leading Asian consultant, Peter Chong. This week we will revisit his story, as the sharing of "what works" can be both illuminating and constructive.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Peter has noticed different response rates amongst different landscape plants with the NTS products. For example, he has seen tremendous results in promoting early and enhanced flowering by using K-Rich™. He has found that soft-stemmed plants respond within days to this buffered, liquid, potassium concentrate but woody, shrub plants, like Bougainvillea, are much slower to respond. Trio™, by comparison, provides an almost immediate improvement in the quality of all ornamental plants. Trio™ is a formulation of high analysis, chelated calcium, magnesium and complexed boron. These are three of what we call "the big four" minerals. We try to achieve luxury levels of these three minerals in the leaf (along with phosphorus). We have found that plants are at their most productive and resilient when “the big four” minerals most related to photosynthesis (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and boron) are maintained at luxury levels in the plant. Calcium is a poorly translocated mineral that is the essence of vibrant plant health. When it is applied directly to the leaf (as Trio™), this mobility issue is overcome.
Peter has also discovered that even good things can be overdone. In one instance, a handful of NTS Soluble Humate Granules™ applied to some large, indoor potted trees, resulted in a yellowing of these plants. When the correct rate of 2 g of humates per pot was added, the trees responded very well. He has also found that these indoor trees respond very well when brewed Nutri-Life 4/20™ is applied at 2 L per pot. These large trees burst into life when fertilised with this specialised soil life boost.
Resurrecting Struggling Trees
In another trouble-shooting exercise, Peter was charged with rescuing very expensive tropical rainforest trees that were struggling to adapt to the urban environment. Several of these trees had been replaced more than once and it seemed like these trees were simply not suited to the new environment. Peter recommended a strategy where four holes were punched along the drip line of each tree. A combination of dissolved NTS Soluble Humate Granules™ and Triple Ten™ was injected into these sites every week for the first month. The broad spectrum nutrition and biostimulation of Triple Ten™ and humic acid provided enough extra energy to kickstart the struggling species and, within a month, the difference in the trees was apparent. No further trees have died and after two months they were handed back to the government, who were responsible for the project. In this instance, the minerals and biostimulation were sufficient to regenerate and revitalise the struggling trees (see photos below).
Rainforest Trees Before Treatment
Rainforest Trees After Treatment
Peter has also discovered some unique, but highly productive combinations of NTS products. He has found that Tsunami™, our remarkable silica-based super spreader, really boosts the delivery and uptake of Triple Ten™. Tsunami™ reduces the surface tension of all liquids and this allows instant and profound coverage of the leaf surface. Peter has discovered that Nutri-Life Myco-Force™ can also be combined with Tsunami™, claiming an obviously improved performance of this biological inoculum. We have never thought of combining microbial products with Tsunami™, but it makes sense that their delivery and coverage could be greatly improved. These beneficial organisms may also be appreciating the soluble silica.
Triacontanol and fulvic acid have become essentials in this garden city because shade is a problem in multiple areas. Humic acid is also versatile and essential in these low humus soils with a high clay content. The humates improve soil structure and associated gas exchange in these difficult soils.
In the huge dome at the iconic, $1.035 billion showpiece, Gardens By the Bay, the horticulturists have begun using K-Rich™ and humates to ensure better flowering amongst the multiple species found there. They have also found considerable benefit in building resilience in light-challenged plants by using Nutri-Life Tricho-Shield™ and Nutri-Life Myco-Force™ on a regular basis.
Nature Landscapes is a world leader in vertical garden design (green walls) and they have created many of the iconic green wall and green roof designs around Singapore. The green roof concept has almost reached the point where it is now considered essential in the face of climate change. It serves to insulate the building below from both heat and sound and also provides a reflective effect, which can impact the entire environment of a city. The Singapore Government actually offers a 50% government grant to build green walls in commercial areas.
The trick that has really kicked goals for "green wall" and "green roof" nutrition is the combination of Triple Ten™ and Tri-Kelp™, in the first application as a foliar spray. Two weeks later they spray Trio™. This is for non-flowering plants. Flowering species also have the addition of K-Rich™. If the green wall is outside, Cloak™ Spray Oil is included for rainfastness (see photos below).
Green Wall Before Treatment
Green Wall After Treatment
Landscapers have an important role in creating more liveable spaces amidst dense populations. They are also now charged with developing living landscapes that can build humus to help counter climate change. The informed utilisation of biostimulants, photosynthesis enhancers and chelated mineral fertilisers can be of great assistance in creating a vibrant, resilient landscape.
To read Part 1 of this article, please click here.