For the Engineer

Soil Secrets for Erosion Control & Mine Reclamation

In recent years, there’s been a growing acceptance by agriculture producers and professional agronomists to use Probiotic organisms and Humic substance based soil amendments, as tools for a good biological management plan.  These types of inputs when proven with 3rd party efficacy testing to contain the active ingredients that merit the claim of benefit, may also provide biological and chemical characteristics that can help to remedy many of the maladies inhibiting farm production such as soil diseases and mineral nutrient chemical tie up.   While this white paper is addressing the engineering and construction of sites for a different objective than farming, in this case erosion control and vegetation establishment, the same rules apply, but often with even more difficult soil obstacles to overcome.   The bottleneck or limiting factors often associated with erosion control and mine reclamation projects may be chemical or biological or both, resulting in vegetation being unable to tolerate the caustic chemistry of the site, or perhaps nutrient availability is missing or is chemically unavailable.  The mineral nutrients are present, but they are chemically complexed into a form that a plant cannot uptake!

In order to minimize erosion and claim success in our project, we are going to need a strong and vigorous cover of vegetation that is getting what it needs from the soil.  While soil and the ‘Bio Geo Chemical Process of Plant Nutrition and Soil Formation’ is well understood in specific disciplines of science, the information has been slow to mature in the arena of Erosion Control. (1)  For example, in the discipline of chemistry, Humic Acids are well understood, with plenty of published research articles found in peer review journals of science.  For example, in the Journal of Chemical Education a study on Humic Acids states that Humic Acids are essential for healthy and productive soils, a powerful message since one of the limiting factors in the reclamation of raw soil  is a gross deficiency of Humic Acids.

Another limiting factor to success is a microscopic organism that’s a mutualistic fungus called Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi or AMF.   Most plants will not achieve optimum health without this fungal association.  Mycorrhizal fungus improves a plants ability to get water and mineral nutrients out of the soil, while also protecting the plant roots from disease and from damaging nematodes.   It’s analogous to human healthcare, with medical professionals prescribing Pro-Biotic organisms (specific bacteria) in order to establish the beneficial flora of our body.

Soil Secrets has available for the engineering and construction industries dealing with mine reclamation, erosion control and vegetation management,  Mycorrhizal products, that meet the highest standard of efficacy, verified by a 3rd party laboratory with the highest spore count available in the industry.   EndoMaxima® is our AMF product and MycoMaxima® is a blend of Ecto and AMF type mycorrhizal spores for projects planting herbaceous plants, conifers and hardwoods.  Our other priority, in R & D, are  Humic Acids.  Under an exclusive contract, we commissioned the National Laboratoies to conduct the only molecular analysis ever performed on Humic Acids and the three active fractions called Humin, Humic and Fulvic acids. We selected the National Laboratories for this project because they are the only  two facilities on earth that have the equipment and the ability to purify from a soil sample the Humic Acids without damaging them, necessary before you can do the next step of analysis.  Before we could know if we've been successful in formulating an input that contains as its prime active ingredient the Humic Acids, we needed to know what the molecular characteristics of Humic Acids found in soil looked like and how they worked!  We've done that research and can now say with 100% accuracy that our product called TerraPro® contains as an active ingredient Humic Acids that are Supramolecular and which are identical to those found in soil.   We needed to know what Humic Acids look like and how they worked, in order to prove that our products contain the Humic Acids!  We’ve done that research and can now say with 100% accuracy that our product called Agriculture Grade TerraPro contains as an active ingredient Humic Acids that are Supramolecular and which are identical to those found in soil.   Before we conducted our research at the National Laboratories, the industry depended on university and commercial soil labs to perform rough estimates of the Humic content of a soil additive or the soil itself. The results of such tests were flawed because the testing method was not accurate. This method was analogous to looking through a chain-link fence at a car and trying to determine the horsepower, the fuel economy, and if the car even runs.  The old methods did not get past the chain-link fence. At Soil Secrets LLC, we’ve taken down the fence and have done the most complete molecular research on Humic Acids ever performed, therefore we know our product inside and out and can promise our clients that the product will function properly.

Our Founder and Managing Member, Michael M. Melendrez lectures on Supramolecular Chemistry, the Soil Food Web and other topics relevant to agriculture, plant nutrition and soils, where he shows many of the molecular geospatial 3-D images of Humic Acid molecules, derived from our research.  The images are beautiful, fascinating and exciting to see.   If you have a venue you’d like Michael to speak at, contact our company by emailing us at

Soil Secrets LLC is a formulator and manufacturer of soil amendments & technical biologic materials used in agriculture, mine reclamation and erosion control.  We are one of the few product lines that also cross over into  Home & Garden, so that homeowners can benefit from our expertise and fine products that work.  Our products are used to instigate the biological process of better plant nutrition, buffering of toxic soil chemistry and priming the process of soil carbon sequestering resulting in the building of top soil.   This use of our products improves and can even jump start the Bio-Geo-Chemical process of plant nutrient uptake and soil formation.

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