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  #1  
Old 05-27-2012, 09:12 AM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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Soil Health

Take a moment to read this:

http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/management...h_tech_doc.pdf
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Barry Draycott

The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:26 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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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'???
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:47 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Another portion from the article:

* "Farms and ranches are provided with soil, water, and sunlight. The
challenge is to feed the soil, harvest sunlight and farm sustainably to make
a living now and in the future." *


This article seemed to forget about "AIR" being in the soil as a necessary component for the soil food web... do Ag crops not need air for the roots or the microbes?
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:50 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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How deep are the fungi able to generate nutrients through decay? and What happens after the OM in the depths of the soil is decayed and gone?
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:11 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Another portion from the article:

* "Farms and ranches are provided with soil, water, and sunlight. The
challenge is to feed the soil, harvest sunlight and farm sustainably to make
a living now and in the future." *


This article seemed to forget about "AIR" being in the soil as a necessary component for the soil food web... do Ag crops not need air for the roots or the microbes?
Stable soil aggregates are critical for water infiltration and gas
exchange, both of which are essential to crop production.


Last time I checked Air was a Gas.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:22 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
How deep are the fungi able to generate nutrients through decay? and What happens after the OM in the depths of the soil is decayed and gone?

When I inject mycorrhizae , I do so about 12" deep and the mix comes up.

When I am planting, I add a dry mix to the top 8 to 12" of the backfill. More and more reputable growers are now inoculating as well.

I mostly apply rhizobia in a nice mix of macro, micro nutrients, seaweed humate, yucca extracts and sugars to the lawn but the trees will respond too if you inject it in the top few inches.

It takes time for sure since most track homes have all the top soil stripped away, and compacted by construction. Aeration and top dressing helps speed it a long.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:23 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Quote:
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'???
On a lawn we mulch the grass and feed it with a mix on a regular basis as described above.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:24 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Originally Posted by phasthound View Post
Thanks for posting. We try to apply as much of that as possible to lawns except crop rotation
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:13 AM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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The overwhelming majority of research on soil health has been done in agriculture, not lawn care so that is where the most information will be found.

Here is another good read:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distrib...3.html#fertapp
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The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post

My concern would be, that if there was not enough SOM for the bacteria to work with, where would the 'nutrients cycle from'???
Well, to keep the party going, add more organic matter. In addition, much of the food for microbes is exuded by plant roots. In fact, the exudate will favor the microbes that are beneficial to the plant. Roots constantly slough of dead cells which add to SOM.

Microbes also are responsible for mining nutrients from the inorganic parent material of the soil. Mycorrhizea are critical for unlocking P and transporting it to plant roots. Certain nitrifying bacteria extract N from the air in soil pores and make it plant available.

The human part of the puzzle is to use practices which enhance rather than harm the process that builds soil health.
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The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
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