Soilsmart is a Sydney based, family run business that owners Sue and Paul Patten established in 2003. Paul has been active in the Turf and Agricultural industry for more than 40 years and has now been joined by son Steven, Steven’s wife Cassandra and Lloyd Webber. Soilsmart continues to focus its efforts on restoring soil biology and plant health in a natural way to build resilience and reduce the need for chemicals.
What Do We Do Differently?
The company has always had a strong biological background, but in our quest to solve problems over the years we have also developed a range of unique products that can help with many of the common challenges faced in the turf and agricultural sectors. A comprehensive understanding of how plants interact with the environment has enabled us to identify and treat the causes of problems, rather than simply treating the symptoms of them. The business has a solid base in soil biology, in fact this was where it started. Soil biology is made up of tens of thousands of different species which interact with plants in numerous ways. The importance of these organisms to the plant isn't well understood however, every plant (including the species and cultivars we use in turf) have evolved over millions of years in a symbiotic relationship with beneficial soil organisms.
In nature, where the plant is in control, beneficial organisms are nurtured and encouraged by the plant because the plant knows that it needs their support and protection. Consequently, the plant feeds, encourages and regulates these beneficial organisms and in turn this small army of helpers are able protect the plant and also maintain both soil structure and Oxygen levels within the root zone.
The other area of difference is more subtle and relates to our somewhat unique approach to plant nutrition. For many, plant health is judged purely on the appearance above the soil surface. At Soilsmart we understand that unless the plant is able to function fully, from the tips of the leaves through to the tips of the roots, any amount of greening of the surface won’t build a healthy, strong and resilient plant. In fact, the contrary is often the case, and a quick look below a seemingly healthy plant above the surface, often reveals poor root systems and weak plants, prone to disease and insect infestation. Subtly then, we are can identify and treat causes of poor plant function and help the plant build strength and resilience, rather than just react to the symptoms of poor plant health. Diagnostic tools such as our unique approach to soil and plant testing can reveal deficiencies and imbalances that other methods just can’t. Implementing a biological soil program and restoring the life in soil, is a little like putting the horse back in front of the cart, because rather than the typical focus of trying to treat and control pathogens, the focus is about improving and optimising soil and plant health. This change in focus enables us to address the causes of pathogen attack (rather than just dealing with the symptoms of it). It also enables us to proactively build plants and soils which are stronger, more resilient and less likely to be the subject of pathogen attack.