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  #11  
Old 10-27-2013, 07:38 PM
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heritage heritage is offline
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Originally Posted by greendoctor View Post
Not a problem. There is so much raw calcium and magnesium carbonate in the soil, that aluminum toxicity is never a problem. We are talking about soil contaminated with coral and ocean water. pH is 7.5. Now when the carbonates are reduced and the pH is closer to 7, the soil is much better. Note that this treatment is never done without automatic irrigation. Putting that much acid on soil without sufficient water is one way to make a desert.
Understood. I can see also why you like the Nitrate based N with soils like these to avoid Ammonium Toxicity with some sensitive plant species.


My area I see an issue with the High Mg Clay soil, and Water onsite with High Alkalinity giving a "Liming Effect" from Ca Carbonates and Ca/Mg Bicarbonates from some of the really hard water sites.

CA as well as Carbon/OM based products to buffer the anions driving pH up and buffer the sodium, and some soluble Ca helps to balance soil chemistry.

Keeping a close eye with annual soil tests looking at Base Sat to help me adjust. Every season different with temp changes and moisture variations.

I rarely have to aerate turf grass even my clay soils. Just balance them.
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2013, 08:02 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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I prefer nitrates because I spray everything. Sulfates are not as soluble. I am also not convinced that putting potassium chloride at high feed rates will not hurt anything. I get plenty of chlorides in the tap water and from the ocean. Unlike people with seasons, I am feeding more than a handful of times per year. Ammonium, especially ammonium sulfate is actually a good thing for me, because it is strongly acidifying. On the other hand, there have been many times where 46-0-0 has failed to perform on bad soils. I will use 46-0-0 sparingly on more acidic soils, but avoid it to limit surge growth. CA, often makes a radical change for the better. Do that to a soil that has hardpans based on carbonates and the soil becomes very loose. I have lots of calcium, but in the form of calcium carbonate. The other way would be to apply diluted sulfuric acid, but I am reluctant to go there if CA will work just as well. I like my eyes, skin, and clothing.
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  #13  
Old 10-29-2013, 08:04 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Originally Posted by greendoctor View Post
I have yet to see a soil with the chemical issues present that is not already compacted. Only way for such a soil not to be compacted is if it were to be deep tilled and never watered or rained on again. As you said, even water can be compacting. Example: lawn in back yard, no vehicular traffic ever, serpentine pasted on top of coral. Soil is impenetrable when dry, but turns into grease when wet. Outstanding items on soil analysis. High pH, high magnesium, salts, low sulfur and avaliable micronutrients. OM is at 4%. Treatment with 2 lb citric acid per 1000 sq ft and sulfur at 20 lb causes soil to form distinguishable aggregates. Grease like texture when wet no longer present.
Not sure if there are areas on the continental U.S. that would have that kind of chemical issues,,, so I don't think it is relevant to our discussion of actual soils... especially here in the Midwest our water came from glacier fresh water,,, so the corals, salts and even limestone were pushed into deposits rather than all bubbled together such as would be expected from volcanic formations...
Central America,,, where I've visited didn't seem to have any real soil at all, except along the coastlines where there was actual silicon sand(so it seemed) and actual sedimentary rocks,,, but inland was all about crushed volcanic material and a strange kind of dirt that wasn't really clay as we would have on the continents...

Anyways,,, my question about aerating clay and some of the antics talked about in other threads is still on the table if anyone has any ideas that could/should modify current aeration strategies...

To me it would seem that Professionals would consider the current condition of the soil, i.e. texture of the soil,, in determining whether aeration is the best option for the lawn, rather than a one size fits all scenario...
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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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  #14  
Old 10-29-2013, 08:14 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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I'm not sure if it is loaded or not...I was reading another thread that was describing multiple passes resulting in large patches of sticky mud on top of the grass...

In my experience, heavy topsoils can produce plugs that do not break down very quick becuz they squeeze out greasy plugs rather than 'crumbly' plugs...

Then I read this:
"tilth, Physical condition of soil, especially in relation to its suitability for planting or growing a crop. Factors that determine tilth include the formation and stability of aggregated soil particles, moisture content, degree of aeration, rate of water infiltration, and drainage. The tilth of a soil can change rapidly, depending on environmental factors such as changes in moisture. The objective of tillage (mechanical manipulation of the soil) is to improve tilth, thereby increasing crop production; in the long term, however, conventional tillage, especially plowing, often has the opposite effect, causing the soil to break down and become compacted."

So it makes me stop and think of better ways to relieve compaction of heavy topsoils,,, even clay...
I'm assuming that we are aerating to improve tilth of the soil... So if we are aerating clay to relieve compaction we should have a better idea as to whether our effort improve the tilth of the soils or not...

I think the guy in the other thread that plopped greasy plugs all over the grass to such a volume that the mud will likely suffocate large patches of grass was way, way down the "lawn hack scale"...

Any thoughts???
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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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  #15  
Old 10-29-2013, 02:33 PM
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heritage heritage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
I'm assuming that we are aerating to improve tilth of the soil... So if we are aerating clay to relieve compaction we should have a better idea as to whether our effort improve the tilth of the soils or not...

I think the guy in the other thread that plopped greasy plugs all over the grass to such a volume that the mud will likely suffocate large patches of grass was way, way down the "lawn hack scale"...

Any thoughts???
My thought is to teach Professionals in the lawn care industry be better diagnosticians, and not put so much focus on profit and production.

Greendoctor for one knows what he is doing and understands cause and effect methods. He would do well in any soils with some practical time working with them.
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  #16  
Old 10-29-2013, 04:37 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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The easiest soils for me to deal with are the inland acidic soils that have not been affected by coral or salt. All those soils need are pH correction and rebalancing the Ca/Mg ratio if it is serpentine. My problems are 100% man made. Virgin sand is not hard to make fertile with addition of organic matter. Serpentine is not good near the beach because ocean water contains Mg.

I cringe when aeration is sold without asking "why". Why does the soil tend to compact? Will mechanical disruption change that? Soils with the right chemical balance form stable aggregates not prone to breaking down to compactable particles. That is true no matter what part of the world the soil is in.
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  #17  
Old 10-30-2013, 05:53 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greendoctor View Post
... I cringe when aeration is sold without asking "why". Why does the soil tend to compact? Will mechanical disruption change that? Soils with the right chemical balance form stable aggregates not prone to breaking down to compactable particles. That is true no matter what part of the world the soil is in.
Well this entire thread is asking the question 'Why"...

Are you saying that there is some chemical imbalance in our clays soils, in this part of the world,, that if we 'corrected' it,,, we would have the desired drainage with correct air/moisture ratio after each rain event???
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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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  #18  
Old 10-30-2013, 01:18 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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Exactly. I hear a lot about slow release urea, aeration, but hardly anything about a comprehensive soil test. I never assume what is in soil. Even if I were to find myself in the Northern part of the Continent, first order of business would be to pull soil tests. Those soil tests would go to the same private labs that I send to now. Not university extension offices that provide basic pH and NPK tests.
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  #19  
Old 10-30-2013, 03:30 PM
Skipster Skipster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greendoctor View Post
The easiest soils for me to deal with are the inland acidic soils that have not been affected by coral or salt. All those soils need are pH correction and rebalancing the Ca/Mg ratio if it is serpentine. My problems are 100% man made. Virgin sand is not hard to make fertile with addition of organic matter. Serpentine is not good near the beach because ocean water contains Mg.

I cringe when aeration is sold without asking "why". Why does the soil tend to compact? Will mechanical disruption change that? Soils with the right chemical balance form stable aggregates not prone to breaking down to compactable particles. That is true no matter what part of the world the soil is in.
Are you saying that all (or even most) clays that compact have improper chemical balances? By saying that stable aggregates not prone to braking down occur, are you saying that clays with proper Ca:Mg balance don't compact?

If so, I think you're missing something. In most places I've worked (coast to coast in the US, much of Canada, and Japan), lawns are compacted by mechanical means, such as construction equipment. I haven't seen a house yet that wasn't built with something heavy (at least a truck or wagon) pulling materials into position.

Compaction by definition is a soil physical condition. The Ca:Mg ration you're talking about is NOT compaction, but known by a different name with different purposes.
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  #20  
Old 10-31-2013, 10:50 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Soil test to compare to what? How would we know if the soil test was good enough or not?? What is the formula that tells us, "No compaction here."

I think we are straining at gnats, while swallowing a camel here... the focus is on aeration of heavy muddy soils being a waste of time or not,,, becuz it seems that there is a belief out there in 'LCO Land' that aeration is good at any cost...

I would like to zero in on what conditions/factors need to be considered before just wasting clients' money to sell aeration... Especially if people are going to start advertising for it, to convince the public at large that it is a good thing, when in fact,, what they are doing is all wrong...
You know,,, like doll hair over-seed...
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
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