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Old 01-12-2013, 02:39 PM
Skipster Skipster is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,039
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
I thought as long as I had this article and it would help put things in perspective,,, possibly,,, that I would go ahead and post it...
The article can be found at this URL and is also being put forth in another forum...
"... Irrigation, if not properly applied, can compound this problem by breaking up aggregates, increasing sodium content, and leaching clay."
Ha ha You didn't read your own link, did you?

The section in the article you referenced talks about the impact of tillage on soil structure of agricultural fields -- bare soil fields, annual crops, completely tilled and replaced each year.

In case you're not familiar with home lawns, they are not usually bare soil systems, they are covered with perennial crops, and are not replaced each year. Tillage (in the same vein as referenced in your link) is performed only during establishment (and sometimes during renovation).

In bare soil ag fields, irrigation can break up soil aggregates from the energy of the water drops hitting the bare soil. That won't happen in a lawn with turf cover on it. Sodium content is only increased when bare soil is exposed to excessive water evaporation at the surface -- which doesn't happen in established lawns. Clay is only leached when water is allowed to bombard bare soils, separate the soil fractions, then run off as water channels are cut into the bare soil. Again, this doesn't happen in established lawns.

Remmeber, this whole thing goes back to the role of soil microbes in lawns. You are trying to tell me that irrigation is the most important thing in this process. Water is certianly important, but only to the point where water is not limiting to the function of the microbes. All you need is enough water to support life -- not too much and not too little.

But, the proper amount of water for microbes is also the proper amount for the turf. Again, doing the things that promote healthy turf will promote microbial activity. You can't have healthy microbes without creating healthy turf first.
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