Register free!

Reply
 
Thread Tools   Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-25-2013, 09:56 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,945
Clay Soils

Does aerating wet clay soils 'relieve compaction' or should we await medium moisture conditions???

What might increase the tilth of these clay soils better than aeration???
__________________
*
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-25-2013, 04:31 PM
heritage's Avatar
heritage heritage is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,203
Hi Axe,

Seriously is this a loaded question? Who would dare aerate wet clay soil.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-25-2013, 05:24 PM
Exact Rototilling's Avatar
Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
LawnSite Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Zone: 5B
Posts: 4,867
Clay would be tricky. I'd have to see it to make specific recommendations. I have a Plugrģ time modified step aerator I use for on the spot diagnostics.

I will be aerating a place just out of town and further than I ever travel normally. First time I aerated it 4-5 years back it was a silt clay combo. Clay is not the norm here I'll take pics on this next round.

Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-26-2013, 12:19 AM
DA Quality Lawn & YS's Avatar
DA Quality Lawn & YS DA Quality Lawn & YS is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 8,035
I only aerate clay type soil like we have here when it is moist (not wet). You cannot aerate dry clay...total waste of time and effort.
__________________
7x14 Stealth SE Enclosed with 48" side ramp
08 Toro Z400 48" deck, 21HP Kaw with EZ Vac twin bag
09 Exmark Turf Tracer HP 36"
21" Toro SR4 Super Recycler
Stihl KM90 Kombi w/ straight shaft trimmer & tiller heads
Husqvarna 125B Blower
PG Magnum
Turfco XT5 Aerator
Turfco LS-22 Overseeder
EcoLawn 200 Applicator

I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-26-2013, 08:45 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,945
Quote:
Originally Posted by heritage View Post
Hi Axe,

Seriously is this a loaded question? Who would dare aerate wet clay soil.
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...
__________________
*
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-26-2013, 02:38 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 7,424
What you just posted is why I tell my customers to save their money. In my experience. aeration is only a viable procedure for correcting mechanically compacted soils. Say, sports fields, or lawns that have had heavy equipment/vehicles run over it. Not useful for the lawn that has a soil chemistry issue that is causing the poor tilth. For example, serpentine soils that are also contaminated with salt and alkalinity bearing materials turn into grease. The way out of this one is to get the pH down and raise the calcium level. It is also important to dry out the area because excess water simply causes more compaction.
__________________
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin 1775

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard's Almanac1738
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-27-2013, 08:50 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,945
Why would 'mechanical compaction' of clay soils benefit from aeration as opposed to non-mechanical compacted clay soils of the exact same chemistry???
__________________
*
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-27-2013, 03:03 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 7,424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Why would 'mechanical compaction' of clay soils benefit from aeration as opposed to non-mechanical compacted clay soils of the exact same chemistry???
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.
__________________
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin 1775

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard's Almanac1738
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-27-2013, 05:59 PM
heritage's Avatar
heritage heritage is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,203
Quote:
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.
2 Pounds/1000 of CA Doc that is quite a lot of Protons.

With clays here I would have Aluminum Toxicity issue with so much CA.

With some good OM added to buffer the Al and a drench ( 5 gal/1000) with CA water pH +/-4.5 gets things rolling. Try to get to Ca/Mg ratio at 7/1 in clays. Takes some time here with some of these high Mg clays.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-27-2013, 06:21 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 7,424
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.
__________________
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin 1775

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard's Almanac1738
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:16 PM.

Page generated in 0.08461 seconds with 7 queries