Review of RootZone Organic Planting Mix

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This article is a review of Root Zone Organic Planting Mix
by Brett · All Zones · Product Reviews · 0 Comments · January 21, 2013 · 3,407 views

Gardeners have been using soil amendments to condition and enhance native soil ever since there have been gardeners to plant plants. While in some parts of the world gardeners might have good fertile and loamy native soils to work with, many gardeners in other regions are stuck with poor, infertile soils that don't drain or hold moisture sufficiently and don't contain the necessary nutrients that plants need for optimum growth and health.

I've heard some professionals and gardeners insist there is never a need for soil amendment when planting. But, having lived and been an avid gardener in the state of Georgia for many years, where the clay soil can be dense, compacted, and either brick hard during summer or poor-draining during winter, I've found soil amendments an absolutely necessary ingredient to successfully growing many types of plants in the ground. There isn't anyone who can convince me that the addition of good soil amendments to compacted, poor soils is not highly beneficial to successfully growing many types of ornamental and herbaceous plants. This being said, not all soil amendments are good soil amendments.

Choosing a soil amendment can be confusing, and the amount of soil amendment you might need to add will vary depending on the type and quality of the native soil. While heavy clay soils will benefit from a soil amendment that improves porosity, sandy, porous soils will benefit from a soil amendment that helps to retain moisture.

There are hundreds of soil enhancement products on the market today. Some are very good quality while others are just cheap-grade, low quality products that provide little if any beneficial nutrients to the soil. Some are general purpose while others meet specific needs. Some are organic while others are not. I prefer a using a general purpose soil amendment I can use when planting almost any type of ornamental or herbaceous plant in the ground. I also like using organic products; those which contain no harmful toxins.

For years I used a product called 'Claycutter', a soil conditioner and compost planting mixture which was specifically designed to improve the quality of and enhance both drainage and moisture retention in clay soils. But the company that manufactured Claycutter went out of business and the search began for a replacement product, one that not only was organic, but improved drainage in clay soil while also providing nutrient-rich organic matter that would highly facilitate the rooting in process after having planted new plants.

Finding an organic product proved difficult. In the end, I decided to contact the folks at Farmers Organic about designing an general-use soil amendment to replace Claycutter on the shelves at the nursery I co-manage in central Georgia. Our nursery was already carrying a couple other Farmers Organic soil amendment product that met more specific needs, however I was looking for the general purpose product. To make a long story short, Farmers Organic and I designed a product that was even better than Claycutter. We called it RootZone Planting Mix...because that's where it functions to greatly promote strong root system development.

RootZone is made up of 3 parts 10 year old composted hardwood grindings to 1 part Farmers Organic High Cotton. What is "High Cotton"? High Cotton Compost consists of 100% cotton residuals. Every part of the cotton plant, the lent, stalks, bowls, leaves, and seed meal has been composted a minimum of 3 years to ensure it is chemical free and consistent. The average N-P-K of High Cotton is approximately 1-1-1. It is excellent for promoting and improving drainage in poor soils, is full of beneficial micro-organisms that plants love, and will not burn the roots of plants.

How To Use RootZone Planting Mix

Root Zone Planting Mix is available in 20 quart bags and can be used as a beneficial soil amendment when planting ornamental shrubs and trees, annual and perennial flowers, vegetables, and almost any other type of plant in the garden. It is not suitable for use alone in container gardens except to add a few handfuls to enhance the potting mix.

You'll need to determine how much RootZone to use to improve the porosity of the native soil. To test the porosity simply dig up a handful of the native soil. The soil should be damp but not wet. Squeeze the soil in the palm of your hand. If the soil crumbles this means it has good porosity. If it molds like modeling clay porosity is bad.

When digging individual holes or building a raised bed garden

As a general rule of thumb I usually add the following amounts of RootZone Planting Mix to the native soil removed from the planting hole:

Soil of average to good porosity: 1 Part RootZone to 2 to 3 Parts Native Soil

Dense, compacted soils: 1 Part RootZone to 1 Part Native Soil

When tilling or turning into a planting area

As a general rule of thumb, I usually apply the following amounts of RootZone Planting Mix atop the soil before tilling or turning in:

Soil of average to good porosity: till or turn in 1/2 to 1 inch layer of RootZone to a depth of 6 to 12 inches

Dense, compacted soils: till or turn in 1.5 to 2 inch layer of RootZone to a depth of 6 to 12 inches

More reasons why RootZone is so good for your soil, your plants, and your own health!
  • Improves the soils structure and porosity, creating a better plant root environment
  • Increases permeability of heavy soils, reducing erosion and runoff
  • Improves water holding capacity of sandy soils, reducing water loss & leaching
  • Supplies a variety of beneficial macro and micronutrients
  • Can control or suppress certain soil-borne plant pathogens
  • Supplies significant amount of organic matter
  • Improves cation exchange capacity of soils, improving their ability to hold nutrients for plant use
  • Supplies beneficial microorganisms to soils and growing media
  • Improves and stabilizes soil pH
  • Can bind and degrade specific pollutants
  • And last but not least...it's organic and safe for you, your family, and the environment!

RootZone is great for all soil types and is guaranteed to break up hard clay soils and compacted soil; improving drainage and providing ample space for roots to grow!

A list of retailers is coming soon!


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