As an industry leader in the use of organic fertilizers, soil amendments and compost teas in the Northwest, Hendrikus has always required the highest quality standards for the soils used in his award-winning landscape projects. His background has well equipped him to develop what he calls living bio-stable soils. A bio-stable soil is biologically, chemically and physically active, while being stable in structure.
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For over 20 years Hendrikus has mixed and created his own custom soil blends to meet the site needs and planting materials for his projects. The culmination of his many years of research and development is his patent-pending blends of living bio-stable soils known as “EssentialSoil™”. Its growth medium capabilities are fantastic, bringing to plant materials the structural and biological balance essential to healthy and rapid growth.
In addition to its success as a growing medium, these distinctive organic topsoil blends also possess a physical structure that allows them to be used in more structural applications. This includes all lawn and turf installations, including ball fields and golf courses, under sidewalks, in median and planter installations; city parks; rooftop gardens…and in particular: steep slopes. Its structural matrix allows it to adhere to extremely steep slopes and withstand the rigors of nature before re-vegetation takes hold – in most cases without the costly protection of geo-textiles or retention walls.
By working closely with leading soil microbiologists such as Dr. Elaine R. Ingham (Chief Scientist at the Rodale Institute, founder of The Soil Foodweb and the Sustainable Studies Institute, and primary contributing author to the USDA/NRCS Soil Biology Primer), Hendrikus Schraven continues to advance organic products and alternatives for gardens, landscapes, turf, erosion control, nurseries and agriculture.
EssentialSoil™ has both the biology and the chemistry giving it the physical strength to:
- Be Sustainable (expensive maintenance practices are NOT required)
- Enhance Plant/Root Growth (without requiring pesticide or inorganic fertilizers)
- Be Permeable (balances high permeability with high water retention)
- Purify Water (water leaving the system is often cleaner than when it entered the system)
- Retain High Levels of Water (balances high water retention with high permeability)
- Resist Erosion / Sedimentation (expensive physical aids are not required, has near zero sedimentation)
- Prevent / Reduce Runoff (water passes through, not just over soil layer, reducing surface runoff by over 30%)
- Be Stable (depending on installation method, on slopes up to 70%)
- Maintain Strong Shear Strength
Each of our blends are batch-specific, customized for the intended use, be it landscape beds, turf, erosion, structural, vegetable garden or nursery.
Our EssentialSoil™ Blends have many applications where their customized properties will give outstanding soil performance.
Because EssentialSoils™ are engineered, use-specific blends formulated for performance, they have many advantages over regular topsoil.
Numerous tests were done to scientifically confirm EssentialSoil’s ability to withstand erosive weather, decrease water runoff, and virtually eliminate sediment discharge.
Testing Your Soil
One of the first things many garden experts will tell you before you plant a garden is, you need to test your soil. This makes sense because you want to be sure your soil is healthy and able to support the nutritional needs of the plants that you plan to grow.