LPS Research & Development

Be part of our journey and watch us grow!

Click on the photos to read our amazing story and see for yourself what a difference a balanced, sustainable approach can make!

A diverse garden

A diverse garden

Come follow us as we continue to probe the natural world for solutions to today's challenges and see for yourself the amazing results!

Automatic climate controls

Automatic climate controls

Customized automation for heating, cooling, humidity and irrigation.

Aquatic garden, check!

Aquatic garden, check!

An aquatic garden provides crucial habitat for numerous beneficial insects

The glow of nursery lights

The glow of nursery lights

Comparing results

Comparing results

Different growing mediums including promix and coco coir are evaluated side by side to determine the substrates effect on plant health

Soil testing

Soil testing

Higher yields in less time

Higher yields in less time

Corn on the right, grown in Balance bac.,matured 30% sooner than the corn in the promix AND produced a 30% heavier harvest by weight over that grown in promix.

Healthy roots!

Healthy roots!

Despite being watered directly with unfiltered lake water that is known to harbour oomycetes, seedlings grow healthy and vibrant root systems, as they are protected from pathogen attacks by the rich diversity of soil organisms present in the liquid extracted from our O.O.R.B.S. system.

So Fluffy!

So Fluffy!

Here we see an example of the strong and vigorous feeder root development that we have been seeing as a result of our approach. Seeds started using the techniques developed during this project rapidly develop strong mutualistic relationships, reducing germination times while greatly improving success rates.

Roots!

Roots!

Waited a bit too long to transplant this corn, but it gives us an opportunity to see just how healthy the roots are.

It's Alive!

It's Alive!

It's the plants that really tell the story!

Fiji Gold hardy Hibiscus

Fiji Gold hardy Hibiscus

Luna Rose Hibiscus

Luna Rose Hibiscus

Double Red Tropical Hibiscus

Double Red Tropical Hibiscus

Fuchsia Magellanica

Fuchsia Magellanica

20160626_115550

20160626_115550

Aphids!

Aphids!

Of course with all this growth, pests are inevitable, but rather that attempting to eliminate them through the use of sprays, our approach is to manage them through environmental controls. The goal is to find a balance point where the plants natural defences can keep the pests in check.

Here comes the Cavalry!

Here comes the Cavalry!

As part of their defense mechanisms, plants send out powerful chemical messengers to attract predators, so it isn't long before the greenhouse is crawling with an amazing assortment of beneficial insects. Here we see three different species of ladybug; Seven Spotted, Three Banded, and Polished all looking for a tasty aphid.

Cozy Seven spotted

Cozy Seven spotted

A Seven spotted seems to have made itself right at home in the hibiscus

Friendly three banded

Friendly three banded

All the insects in the greenhouse seem to quickly become very comfortable with our presence.

A growing population

A growing population

Of course with plenty of food around and a good habitat, the predator populations quickly grow.

Ladybug Eggs!

Ladybug Eggs!

these are ladybug eggs that are just hatching. Although we usually try and protect the eggs in our nursery, mommy ladybug sometimes lays her eggs in strange places.

Ladybug larvae gallore!

Ladybug larvae gallore!

A clutch of hatchlings emerges as a small orb weaver looks on.

Seven spotted larvae

Seven spotted larvae

Just like the adults, ladybug larvae have distinct markings unique to their subspecies, but these can be much more subtle and may change several times before finally reaching adult hood.

Dinner Time

Dinner Time

Although Adult ladybugs eat a significant amount of aphids on their own, it is the larvae have the greatest impact on pest populations as they need to eat their body weight in prey every day.

Getting Fat!

Getting Fat!

this larvae has eaten well and will soon be getting ready to become an adult.

Ladybug Pupa

Ladybug Pupa

This is a Ladybug Pupa. When a larvae is ready to become an adult it builds a pupa to keep itself safe while it undergoes it's transformation.

Mealybug Destroyer larvae

Mealybug Destroyer larvae

The shear diversity of ladybug species alone that have found their way into our greenhouse is truly astonishing! Here we see a Mealybug destroyer larvae.

Painted lady beetle

Painted lady beetle

This little guy, all covered in pollen, is a painted lady beetle. We have also seen spider mite destroyers, two spotted, convergent, and pink ladybugs just to name a few. And all this in a greenhouse that is just 10 feet wide by 16 feet long!

Pseudoscorpion

Pseudoscorpion

Of course ladybugs aren't the only predator to make a home in our greenhouse. A myriad of other creatures have also found their way in and now play a role in the ecosystem. This is a pseudoscorpion. this scary looking little guy is a type of arachnid and is in fact quite harmless, at least to you and me,but if you're a booklice, ant, mite, or small fly you better lookout!

Green Lacewing

Green Lacewing

This amazing insect is so effective at controlling pests it is often referred to as the gardeners dear old friend.

Brown Lacewing

Brown Lacewing

This is a close cousin of the Green Lacewing, but slightly smaller with more of a taste for mites and thrips.

Snakeflies

Snakeflies

These odd looking insects have barely changed since the early jurassic period (140 million years ago)! also closely related to lacewings they represent yet another very effective predator.

Damselfly

Damselfly

Also a truly ancient insect; damselflies have found our small aquatic pond an ideal place to reproduce and have been incredibly effective at keeping the greenhouse mosquito free.

Sweat bee

Sweat bee

This little sweat bee is one of a number of very docile, solitary bee species that call our greenhouse home. As their name suggests, these brightly coloured bees like the taste of sweat, which is probably why this one is so fond of my hand!

Mites on a wood louse

Mites on a wood louse

A good soil should be full of life and by the look of this poor fungus eating wood louse, there is no shortage here! These mites are fast moving and effective generalist predators. the young will hitch a ride on unsuspecting soil dwelling arthropods like this woodlouse. Although they rarely kill their ride, they do feed by sucking nourishment from joints between the armour of their host.

Crab spider

Crab spider

A brightly coloured ambush predator, it waits with it's front limbs open like a spring loaded trap. Should a fly get too close... snap!

Hoverfly

Hoverfly

Hoverflies or more properly, syrphid flies, are easily one of the most important grounds of insects on the planet! with thousands of different subspecies, hoverflies can be incredibly diverse in form, but are almost always characterized by the way they seem to hover like a helicopter around flowers and they will often mimic the appearance of bees. Which is appropriate as they are second only to bees as a pollinator, and many species of flower can only be pollinated by it's respective hoverfly.

Hoverfly

Hoverfly

Hoverfly Larva

Hoverfly Larva

In addition to being important pollinators, Syrphid flies also play a vital role in pest management. While the adults of many species feed mainly on pollen, the larvae are often voracious predators, preying on aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects. This is definitely one insect you want to see in your garden! You can attract them by planting an assortment of brightly coloured flowers throughout your garden, but they do tend to have a preference for yellow flowers.

The great outdoors

The great outdoors

Of course, it's one thing to see results in a greenhouse where we have a high degree of control over nearly every aspect of the environment, but for this approach to be truly viable it needs to work out in the real world. So, in addition to the greenhouse we have our outdoor growing spaces where we test and compare various approaches.

Fast results

Fast results

To test the effects of Balance Bac. as a soil amendment, we tilled it into the top 3 inches of the soil on left side of the garden, and to insure that we weren't just seeing the benefits of increased organic material, the entire garden was first covered in 4 inches of top quality gardening soil and tilled with premium garden compost. The results speak for themselves, as you can see here, the plants on the side with Balance Bac. quickly pulled ahead of the plants on the right.

Jungle

Jungle

The combination of good soil and nourishment from the O.O.R.B.S. DIGESTER quickly transforms the small garden into a back yard Jungle!

Tomato bush!

Tomato bush!

Red Russian kale

Red Russian kale

Just one plant!

Corn

Corn

Sunflower power!

Sunflower power!

Zucchini

Zucchini

But at the real story is the amazing harvests! so far we've fund that fruits and vegetables are larger sweeter and more plentiful when grown using our unique and sustainable approach.

Juicy tomatoes

Juicy tomatoes

Plump blueberries!

Plump blueberries!

The unique properties of Balance Bac. allow us to grow amazing blueberries in soil with a neutral ph!

Raspberries!

Raspberries!

The raspberry bushes are so productive that we literally can not harvest them as fast as they grow!

Crisp, sweet green peppers!

Crisp, sweet green peppers!

More to come!

More to come!

This has been just a small sample of our amazing journey so far, and we're not done yet! Check back frequently as we add more photos documenting our results, and see for yourself what a difference working with nature can make!