By Charles Duprey, President & Founder, Naturcycle

I was recently in New York City and came across these planters. Planters are a tricky environment. They are small spaces relative to what’s planted in them. They are finite by nature and not a true ecosystem. They are nature optimized and boiled down to 10 feet by 20 feet by 6 feet (and often a lot less depth than that)!

So if we have such little room for error, why do we allow or specify poor soils like these pictured. They are compacted, dense and visibly high in clay. (That’s a lot of clumping for a sand-based blend.) You can see how visually uneven and saturated it is, even in just this small area and there are dozens of planters on this site!

You can achieve better materials, better options and better results using some principles of green roof media, FLL standards and sustainable design. Why not optimize a high mineral soil with excellent drainage and compaction resistance? Why not use tested applications in a new way? Why not create a natural solution for an unnatural application (forcing a tree to live in a box)? At Naturcycle, we have planter and at-grade engineered soils tailored to provide long-term success and made using materials exclusively sourced in New York State. Contact us today to learn more!