For generations, our family owned and operated a thriving garden centre and nursery, and I’ve spent my entire life with my hands in the soil.
My job was growing the plants before selling them, just like dad taught me - making sure they were beautiful, strong, and ready for our customers. And of course, back in the day, we sold them with synthetic fertilizers, bone meal, and instructions on what to do to care for them once they were at their new home. Still, our customers returned a scary number of our beautiful plants dead the following spring (on warrantee). And this sad parade continued no matter how much effort I put into growing my babies. This was both a frustrating and expensive problem.
Then, as fate would have it, on a trip to an industry trade show, I met a professor of Mycology, and he introduced me to the idea that a specialized group of microscopic fungi could help our plants to become more resilient - and help them to not only survive but to thrive without synthetic fertilizers.
I was instantly hooked on the idea, and I had to try it, so in 2003, my new scientist friend and I started experimenting with different types of fungi. I soon compared the plants I was growing using our new fungal mixture to the plants I was growing with our standard fertilizers. It soon became apparent that the plants treated with these fungi were doing better - much better - than the ones grown with the best chemical fertilizers on the market.
But that wasn't enough. I also wanted to see what would become of my plants in hostile environments (where I wouldn't be there to care for them and troubleshoot 24/7), so I started using our fungi mix on the landscape jobs we designed and installed for our customers.
Historically, Emerald Cedars (one of our most popular screen plants) were particularly fragile, and though perfectly healthy when planted, many would not survive; even after carefully transplanting them using long-recommended synthetic transplant products. But once we started treating them with our ‘experimental’ mixture, a year later, the failure rates among the hundreds of Emerald Cedars we’d planted fell to nearly Zero.
It was clear that we were on the right path, so we started applying our ‘secret formula’ to all the plants our landscape crews installed. And every tree, shrub, perennial, or annual we treated performed better in the landscape! The transplant failure rates fell to almost zero for all treated plants, and the plants weren’t just surviving, they were thriving.
My Great Grandfather Francis Frederick Reeves and his son (my Grandfather) Frank Owen Reeves, lining out vegetables on the family farm. Circa 1920
My Mom and Dad (Ken & Lorraine Reeves) answering customer questions at our Garden Centre. Circa 1975
That meant fewer refunds, happier customers, and more profits for our family business. But our profits increased for other reasons too. The plants we were growing in our nursery required less water and fertilizer. All inputs cost time and money, so this was the silver lining.
I knew I was onto something big, but I had to know the specifics of why our fungi mixture made plants healthier and more resilient, and also, which types of fungi would be the most beneficial (there are thousands of different types of fungi in nature).
I started researching in earnest, and after a close examination of the underlying science, and heading out into the natural world to look at which fungi were present in the forest (where, without human intervention, the trees grow tall and live long lives) I discovered the truth! The robust forest ecosystem is underpinned by an intimate partnership with specialized fungi. Once you know where to look - you can find them everywhere in undisturbed nature.
The success of trees, shrubs, wildflowers and prairie grasses in Canada’s wild country, mirrored the success of the plants we were treating with our ‘experimental fungi cocktail’. As it is in Nature, our success was owed to an intimate partnership between Mycorrhizal Fungi and the roots of plants.
To make a long story short (too late, lol!), after 10 years of scientific research and a long journey through Canada’s federal regulatory process at the CFIA, I was thrilled to finally introduce the perfected version of our original mixture - Root Rescue’s Transplanter.
Transplanter is an all-natural, certified organic formulation of the most compatible mycorrhizal fungi for the plants we grow here in Canada. Not only does it outperform traditional synthetic fertilizers, but it also helps heal our taxed environment. Transplanter helps to renew depleted soils, reduce irrigation requirements, and makes the green spaces we love safer for ourselves and our loved ones.
And that's me Bob (Robby) Reeves (13 years old) running the flat filling machine that my dad Ken designed and built. Circa 1969
I have spent my life dedicated to improving the garden/landscape experience, and I have put my heart and soul into Root Rescue’s line of innovative products.
Root Rescue is a game changer, and I’m delighted to introduce it to you!