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Building a Secret Garden using Soil Secrets and Trees That Please


Soil Secrets LLC was created from our nursery business Trees That Please back in the 1990's.  It's purpose was to continue the R & D of products that could be effective in restoring the natural balance of soil concerning what defines a healthy soil.  The other objective was to use these same products for growing our hundreds of thousands of trees at Trees That Please, growing trees with the natural processes of Nature flourishing on the roots of our product.  While fertilizers grow drug addicts addicted to the constant feed of the fertilizer, our Soil Secrets process will grow plants that are ready for the rigors of Nature.   For a long time nursery people used balanced N-P-K fertilizers with names that implied they would improve the texture of soil, or they sold bulk amounts of compost, mushroom compost, peat moss and products called Soil Builder, in the attempt to change the Soil Organic Matter and bulk density characteristics of a soil, somehow mimicking the rich dark top soil of nature.   However that has proven to not work as the chemistry of soil will consume the organic matter added faster than you can add it, resulting in a failed attempt to accumulate carbon to the point where you can say you are sustainable and contributing to "Soil Carbon Sequestration."    The other problem is that  by adding bulk volumes of organic matter from compost like products without knowledge of what the chemical characteristics are of the organic matter (salts, salinity, pH, etc.) can easily cause an accumulation of stuff in the soil that can damage the soils structure or ability to grow a healthy crop or landscape.   

I grow trees at my Trees That Please Nursery in Los Lunas because I love trees, however my Life's work has been soil and what's needed to make it healthy, because without healthy soil we cannot grow a healthy tree, lawn, crop or ecosystem.   In 1985 we purchased vacant land in Valencia County about 20 miles south of downtown Albuquerque, hoping to build a home we could raise our family in.   My vision was a large yard, a secret garden trees, hiding places and a big lawn that my kids to roll in, climb the trees and find adventure.  I soon discovered a major problem with the site in that the soil had been ruined by the decades of farming practices that had made the clay hard,  full of sodium and salts and extremely alkaline.  The surface would turn white during the winter revealing the White Death that would make it hard to succeed.   A professor of soil science from New Mexico State University told me it was impossible to fix the site and that I should put a for sale sign on it and move away.   
The following images are of the arboretum site as it is today which also has our Trees That Please production nursery on the grounds.     As you can see the professor was wrong and the site is now a healthy sustainable ecosystem of carbon rich soils, with a collection of trees from all over the world.  We succeeded because  Soil Secrets has developed the molecular biology and products that can restore Nature's natural balance of what defines a healthy soil and our Arboretum and our nursery production system at Trees That Please proves this point.  

Michael Melendrez
Director, Trees That Please Nursery
Director, Soil Secrets LLC








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