Biotic Soil Amendments: What You Need to Know

By industry standards, Biotic Soil Amendments (BSA’s) used to establish vegetation on construction sites are a relatively new category in the erosion and sediment control field.  Of those available on the market today, Verdyol Biotic Earth is the original and by far has the longest track record. First introduced to the market over eight years ago after multiple years of testing, Biotic Earth’s record of success on projects throughout North America is unparalleled.  By incorporating sustainably harvested sphagnum peat moss as it’s main organic component, and supplemented with straw, flax fibers, and mychorrizae – Biotic Earth has proven its effectiveness again and again over the years.

Support for Microbial Life

We selected straw and flax fibers for one important reason: our research shows that compared to others, these specific fibers work extremely well as the essential feedstock for the mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria colonies in the first year after application of Biotic Earth.

Water Holding Capacity

Utilizing only sustainably harvested sphagnum peat moss as its main organic component, Biotic Earth has the highest water holding capacity of any other BSA on the market.  Biotic Earth’s ASTM D7367 results for water holding capacity are 1,020%!  Increasing the long term water holding capacity in our soils helps not only vegetation establishment, but long term vegetation sustainability on our sites.

Carbon Nitrogen Ratio

All organic matter naturally contains significant amounts of carbon in combination with lesser amounts of nitrogen.  The balance of these two elements in organic matter is called the carbon to nitrogen ratio. For a greenhouse potting mix the ideal ratio is about 30:1 (carbon to nitrogen).  Out in the environment, the general rule is that a lower carbon to nitrogen ratio (though not below 30:1) rather than a higher ratio is much better for vegetation growth. BSA’s composed of organic matter such as bark and wood have a very high carbon to nitrogen ratio, typically in excess of 100:1, often as high as 400:1. With ratios this high decomposition of organic matter slows down and so the release of nutrients to the soil for uptake by vegetation slows down as well.  In stark contrast, peat moss has a very low carbon to nitrogen ratio of 50:1. This ensures that as it is broken down in soils it does not “steal’ available nitrogen from the soil, making it unavailable for plant growth.  One more reason that we selected sustainably harvested sphagnum peat moss as the main organic component in Biotic Earth.

These are a three of things we deem most vital to consider when choosing a Biotic Soil Amendment to help achieve the success of your project.