Clay Soils

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

  1. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,262

    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: 9,052

    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: 1,262

    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: 18,308

    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: 1,262

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

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,262

    Ahhhhh Electrons.

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

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,052

    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: 18,308

    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: 1,918

    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 :)
     

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