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ghost69
02-11-2011, 08:23 AM
I have to admit, I'm not a not a lawn care pro. I just call myself more of a hobbist. I was looking through the forums and there was a post in the irrigation part that I thought I'd ask here. I am interested in gaining knowlegde. What books/literature would you recommend as a must read for any pro or homeowner that is serious into lawn care? I want to learn as much as possible (that's why and how I ended up here). I've scoured our local county extension office and have searched several other state's extension offices. I found several useful articles. I want to redo my lawn. I have 5 acres (wooded). The house sits on 1 and the rest is behind so I plan on mostly trying to reclaim the front acre from nature. I have to sit down and come up with a plan so once I do, I'll post it for comments.

Thanks

Ghost

Green Feet Lawn
02-11-2011, 08:53 AM
What area of the country are you in? Can you post some pics? You can get some great insight from the pros on this site.

As far as education, check your local community colleges for a turf course. Do a search for turf management in your area.

Think Green
02-11-2011, 11:03 AM
ghost,
There is a basic irrigation booklet from Scott's that can be checked out at your local library. If not, look at Books a million or Barnes and Noble for this literature. The book is waterproof, so it won't be hard to find.......it is bound by a black spiral band. This book describes the basics of hydraulics, pressures, and general systems functions. You can also get a basic booklet from the Toro Corporation at Lowe's. Rainbird and Hunter Corporations offer extensive courses through work shops in most areas. Suppliers of these products can lead you to education as with state regulations and city ordinances. Some states will require you to be anti-siphon or backflow preventer certified for water contamination control. Extension services may or may not know of simple irrigation as they are often useful in shallow well, center pivot and agriculture related issues. The knowledge you seek needs to be sought in the private sector given by the companies of the products you will purchase from. The main thing to look for is your state and local laws and codes first.

sodfather24D
02-13-2011, 02:31 AM
If you are in the oklahoma, west arkansas area there is a book by steve dobbs called the oklahoma lawn. My wife gave it to me this christmas, it had a lot of good information for homeowner/hobbyist types. It covered everything from turf selection, irrigation and mowing tips.

ghost69
02-15-2011, 08:32 AM
I live in central KY. I need to do a soil test but it also has alot of rock in it. I'm thinking about trying to find a harley rake to run it over and get ride of the rock. Then do a soil test. Probably add some compost if I can find a good place to get it.

Ghost

sodfather24D
02-15-2011, 11:07 AM
The thing that sux about rocks in lawns is that rocks have a specific gravity less than soil. Meaning they constantly will be rising to the top.

ghost69
02-15-2011, 11:20 AM
I was thinking that if I can set the rake 6-8" deep, that should help.

Ghost

sodfather24D
02-15-2011, 11:40 AM
That will definitely help, and once your turf is established that will help as well. There Is a simple diy test for soil makeup you can do at home. It is not a soil test but a composition test used to determine if your soil is sand, loam, or clay. Fill a quart jar 2/3 full of water, add one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent to separate soil particles. Add soil till the jar is near full. Allow space to shake it. Remove all the rocks and roots. Then shake and stir vigorously. When the water and soil are mixed shake it for a couple minutes, and set it on a level surface. In 30-40 second the sand will settle to the bottom. Mark the sand with a marker. In about four hours the silt will settle, mark the level. Then in 24hours the clay, mark it again. If all three levels are equal your soil is loamy, if the top layer is largest you have clay, and if your bottom is greatest your sandy. Loamy is the best for growing, then sandy, ans third clay. Sandy is okay it just requires more water more often, and your nutrients tend to flow through the substrate.

Kiril
02-16-2011, 11:02 PM
That will definitely help, and once your turf is established that will help as well. There Is a simple diy test for soil makeup you can do at home. It is not a soil test but a composition test used to determine if your soil is sand, loam, or clay. Fill a quart jar 2/3 full of water, add one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent to separate soil particles. Add soil till the jar is near full. Allow space to shake it. Remove all the rocks and roots. Then shake and stir vigorously. When the water and soil are mixed shake it for a couple minutes, and set it on a level surface. In 30-40 second the sand will settle to the bottom. Mark the sand with a marker. In about four hours the silt will settle, mark the level. Then in 24hours the clay, mark it again. If all three levels are equal your soil is loamy, if the top layer is largest you have clay, and if your bottom is greatest your sandy. Loamy is the best for growing, then sandy, ans third clay. Sandy is okay it just requires more water more often, and your nutrients tend to flow through the substrate.

No offense intended, but you are a bit off on your soil stuff. A clay loam will typically be your best soil, and as your sand content increases the quality of your soil decreases. A clay soil is far better than a sandy soil with respect to fertility. Also for your reference.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/SoilTextureTriangle.jpg/519px-SoilTextureTriangle.jpg

sodfather24D
02-16-2011, 11:20 PM
Kiril,
I'm very familiar with the chart thank you. You must have read wrong. I said a loamy type soil is the best (clay LOAM is a type) and that sandy soils require more nutrients. A soil that is 100 percent clay is often times riddled with compaction issues. Also all that said, sandy soil is not necessarily a "bad" soil type just different. Most of the best sportfields in the world are on sand bases. I once worked with a top notch ncaa cusa soccer field that is built on a sand base with zero crown. I would say my soil statement was spot on. No offense intended.

Kiril
02-16-2011, 11:41 PM
Kiril,
I'm very familiar with the chart thank you. You must have read wrong. I said a loamy type soil is the best (clay LOAM is a type) and that sandy soils require more nutrients. A soil that is 100 percent clay is often times riddled with compaction issues. Also all that said, sandy soil is not necessarily a "bad" soil type just different. Most of the best sportfields in the world are on sand bases. I once worked with a top notch ncaa cusa soccer field that is built on a sand base with zero crown. I would say my soil statement was spot on. No offense intended.

Well, given I am sitting on some of the best soil in the world, which is high in clay, I would say your statement was not quite on the mark. In a mineral soil. as your sand content increases, your soil fertility decreases, primarily due to less water and nutrient retention.

You can also have compaction issues with sand .... compaction is not unique to clay soils.

A manufactured field with a sand base is done for reasons other than providing the best soil substrate for plant growth. Outside of sports turf, soils high in the sand fraction should be heavily amended with organics to improve water and nutrient holding characteristics.

sodfather24D
02-16-2011, 11:46 PM
That is why is said it needs more water and nutrients due to the runoff. Also I never said or implied that compaction was only found in clay. My point is, my soil statement was not incorrect, and that just because your soil is sandy doesn't mean its necessarily bad as you implied.

Kiril
02-17-2011, 12:00 AM
That is why is said it needs more water and nutrients due to the runoff. Also I never said or implied that compaction was only found in clay. My point is, my soil statement was not incorrect, and that just because your soil is sandy doesn't mean its necessarily bad as you implied.

There is a pretty good reason why you don't see grass growing on sand in nature. The quality of a soil is not determined by whether or not you can make something grow on it with heavy inputs, but rather by its inherent characteristics.

sodfather24D
02-17-2011, 12:09 AM
Respectfully noted, thank you

MarkintheGarden
02-19-2011, 12:25 PM
Ghost, you are getting good advice, and I agree with most of what has been posted even though there are disagreements. What you should consider is that once you know more about the soil conditions you can select a turfgrass variety that will perform well in those conditions. keep in mind that the variables are endless and this will get confusing if has not already. There are many things that you can do to establish and improve turfgrass quality and some trial and error is to be expected. Establishing and maintaining good turfgrass is an ongoing thing, so take advantage of the methods that are appropriate to the season and consider both your education and the turfgrass development always a work in progress.

Kiril, you say you are sitting on the best soil in the world. My understanding is that different plants have different criteria for what is best. Here we have a high clay content and contrary to popular belief this clay soil is great for many plants but not good for others.

Kiril
02-19-2011, 12:41 PM
Kiril, you say you are sitting on the best soil in the world. My understanding is that different plants have different criteria for what is best. Here we have a high clay content and contrary to popular belief this clay soil is great for many plants but not good for others.

Soils (or generally land) are rated by capability class (see NSSH 622.02). I am sitting on class I & II soils (land).

http://soils.usda.gov/technical/handbook/

MarkintheGarden
02-19-2011, 07:19 PM
Soils (or generally land) are rated by capability class (see NSSH 622.02). I am sitting on class I & II soils (land).

http://soils.usda.gov/technical/handbook/

Thanks for the link, but I do not have the time or interest to read it all.
Looking it over though, I got the impression that the ratings were indicative of the potential use of the land. So, if I understand correctly a class 1 rating means that it is viable for the largest variety of potential uses.

When I studied horticulture, I learned that there is no "best" soil. At least not for all uses, the best soil to grow palm trees is not the best soil to grow pine trees.

Kiril
02-19-2011, 11:25 PM
So, if I understand correctly a class 1 rating means that it is viable for the largest variety of potential uses.

yes .... in particular Ag crops.

When I studied horticulture, I learned that there is no "best" soil. At least not for all uses, the best soil to grow palm trees is not the best soil to grow pine trees.

This is true. Native plant are adapted to the native soil conditions, but that doesn't mean they won't grow in soils that don't have the same conditions.

JB1
02-19-2011, 11:40 PM
I have to admit, I'm not a not a lawn care pro. I just call myself more of a hobbist. I was looking through the forums and there was a post in the irrigation part that I thought I'd ask here. I am interested in gaining knowlegde. What books/literature would you recommend as a must read for any pro or homeowner that is serious into lawn care? I want to learn as much as possible (that's why and how I ended up here). I've scoured our local county extension office and have searched several other state's extension offices. I found several useful articles. I want to redo my lawn. I have 5 acres (wooded). The house sits on 1 and the rest is behind so I plan on mostly trying to reclaim the front acre from nature. I have to sit down and come up with a plan so once I do, I'll post it for comments.

Thanks

Ghost


have you checked this site, they have a pretty good program and people.


http://www.uky.edu/Ag/ukturf/