Thread: Soil Health
View Single Post
Old 05-29-2012, 11:19 PM
Skipster Skipster is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,039
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
This is an Ag related article, but it the context of lawn soils the following idea(from article) would also apply:

**"If crop nutrients are applied to the soil in excess, plants will not develop associations with soil organisms that help them acquire water and nutrients. After the “party is over” and the synthetic fertilizer is gone, the plants are left “high and dry” with few to no soil factory workers to help them access water and nutrients for the remainder of the growing season. The plants then give up valuable energy (sugars) in an attempt to make connections with microbes mid-way through the growing season when the plant should be putting that energy into flowering and seed development to produce a harvestable yield. By applying excess fertilizer, particularly nitrogen or phosphorus, we create plants that are very inefficient as they try to function without the support system of the soil with which they evolved."**

My concern would be, that if there was not enough SOM for the bacteria to work with, where would the 'nutrients cycle from'???
The article cited by the OP seems to be little more than an opinion piece and has little scientific background. If you're reading something without references following it, its nothign more than one person's opinion -- not scientific fact.

While the OP's article does a good job highlighting some practices that are important in production ag systems, many of those practices are detrimental in turf systems. That is why I hate it when organic fert salesmen tell me how good their stuff is for growign corn and soybeans. I'm growing lawns -- not corn and soybeans! If the salesman can't adjust between the differences in the two cropping systems, he surely doesn't know anything abotu my business.

Anyhow, if you're going to talk about soil "health" and soil microbial interactions, you need to learn from the experts. Please read the article linked here:

Although the piece talks mostly about sandy soils vs native soils in athletic field management, the last paragraph is especially relevant to this discussion:

"So, do you need to add “beneficial microbes” to the soil to make it function properly? That’s highly unlikely! Many studies of turfgrasses, whether in sports fields, golf courses or home lawns, have shown that soil microbial populations are not compromised by normal management practices. The best thing that you can do to “manage” the soil microbes under your care is to grow a healthy stand of turf and pay close attention to the condition of the soil or root zone supporting it. Paying attention to the agronomics of grass culture, fertilization,aerification, drainage, etc., will insure that the microbial populations are not being adversely affected!"
Reply With Quote
Page generated in 0.04509 seconds with 8 queries