What we do differently!
We at The Natives have always tried to look ahead. We resist the temptation to bow to what seems to be the Plant Nursery economic model of “grow them big, straight, and fast”! Unfortunately, that model can and often does produce big weak plants. Here’s why. When trees are grown in light, organic soil, they need lots of water to keep that soil from drying out and becoming difficult to rehydrate. With light organic soil and lots of water, the root system does not have to work hard to support the top, and with the typical horticultural trick of tight staking to enforce straight as an arrow trunk growth, there is no reason for the plant cells to become strong. What happens when we do not exercise our muscles? They atrophy! What happens when plant cells are not allowed to move, bend and stress, they can’t stand up on their own! We at The Natives, endeavor to grow strong plants. They are not the biggest, or the straightest. But they are strong. And they are natural in form and appearance.
What do we do different? We don’t stake trees! We use a customized blend of potting soil with sand added. Sand adds to the structure of the soil. Gives roots a more graduated particle size differential, better root / soil contact, and less possibility of the organic component seizing up in dry conditions. Maybe most importantly, our soil mix means that we can use less irrigation to grow stronger plants. Yes we are in the restoration business, not the landscape business. But it really shouldn’t matter. Central Florida soils are for the most part sandy. Our plants are more suited for transition from heavily watered container to planting and establishing in restoration projects and Landscape projects.