1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community on the Franchising Forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Clay Soils

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    This link should help as well for your region.

    http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/about/century/soilacidity.html
     
  2. Victorsaur

    Victorsaur LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    Oh thanks. Good read, interesting to know that lime neutralizes aluminum toxicity.

    Of course adding organic matter makes the most sense for improving the CEC. I was just curious whether GD's addition of sulfur / citric acid provided any long term soil improvements.
     
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    If there is a coral base and constant contamination by sea water, no such thing as a long term improvement. Best improvement is obtained by stripping off at least 18" of the imported dirt and replacing it with a low CEC media. That's right, I do not want it retaining Mg or Na. I would rather supply what the plants need on a regular basis.
     
  4. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    Yes and the OM too is a big player keeping the Al less available to plant roots.

    OM is a great pH buffer too and supports the soil food web. More oxygen in the top horizon of soil supports healthier plants.
     
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Soil cores were taken at 8-10 inches with all the organic matter discarded for testing. The results include both the consolidated clay and aggregated clay and I would consider both as A horizon. The compost on top is ~ 1/2" thick on average.

    One might make an valid argument to test the two layers independently given the differences, however given this is turf I am not inclined to make that distinction.

    The Ca:Mg and pH are a result of inherent properties of the soil and irrigation inputs. Irrigation water runs high in Mg with a pH of 8.3-8.5.
     
  6. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    So asides from the compost topdress, what other inputs are you using for this improved clay site?
     
  7. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    Ahhhhh Electrons.

    Low water tables in the area???
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    The concept of garbage in garbage out applies in my case. Locally available compost has a lot of salt and magnesium because it is made from green waste growing on high magnesium/sodium soils. I have had compost tested, only to find out it would apply the very things I do not want any more of.
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Gypsum.

    No low water table, except for the perched water table that is created when rain/irrigation exceeds the infiltration rate of the consolidated layer. Turns that area into a marsh.
     
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    Kiril, interesting photo and results. I am partially color blind; how much, if any, thatch is showing in that sample? If I could see it in person and feel it I would know. On screen it looks like a significant layer to me but if you tell me it's red or orange I'll have to take your word for it :)
     

Share This Page