Earth Worms do What???

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    I wondered after the article and first post "well, we thought so...what can be done about it?"

    I think if you said sponge-like soil texture instead of sponge-like soil it would be more clear. It's about porosity and exchanges more so than wringing wet vs bone dry IMHO.
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    For the sake of clarification: ...Sponge-like Soil Structure with plenty of holding capacity and plenty of drainage,,, the water runs out of it just as easily as it soaks it up once the capacity is maxed out...

    It is the best of both worlds,,, lots of air and porosity as one would find in Sand,,, yet super water retention as one would find in Clay... Pure organic matter such as a pile of Compost would be about the best growing medium with the sponge-like qualities, but that is not realistic for lawns so the idea is to accomplish this Sponge-like Structure to the fullest extent, in other ways, using what we have...

    Earthworms definitely help accomplish this no matter what "Texture" of Soil(sand, clay) you are starting with... Allowing the pores in the soil to drain also allow microbes(aerobic) to flourish and add Sponge-like Structures within the soil... for the sake of aerobic microbes and worms to flourish it is important that the soils never become completely dry either... That would be the Correct application of irrigation... :)
     
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,826

    Much to the consternation of my clients, earthworm activity increases in a lawn I treat. Good pH. Check. Irrigation practices that agree with the soil type on site. Check. Does not make sense to water sand deeply once a week. Also does not make sense to water clay several times a week short cycling the irrigation system.
     
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,826

    Soil testing and pH correction is the way to go. I have to cringe when people spread lime "just because". They are usually doing that to soil with a pH of 7.5 or higher.
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    GreenDoctor: "... Check. Irrigation practices that agree with the soil type on site. Check. Does not make sense to water sand deeply once a week. Also does not make sense to water clay several times a week short cycling the irrigation system. "

    Actually I find what makes sense with clay,,, especially clay with poor soil structure,,, is that once you have it soaked well, such as in the beginning of the growing season; it DOES help to do frequent 2-3 times a week, waterings??? But ONLY as it gets hot and dry,,, becuz the strategy is,,, to prevent a surface hardpan from preventing infiltration necessary for KEEPING the soil damp throughout the root zone...

    Some people will hear that and their sprinklers are all set on May 1st to handle the Aug. 1st weather situation...
    People who are NOT in tune with how their soil is actually doing,,, tend to ASSUME all the wrong things... Especially when their assumptions are base upon books and not the weather or the soil itself...

    Very difficult to discuss the finer points of plant growing becuz there is so much confusion in the basic things,,, such as the dry dirt/wet dirt argument... :)
     
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,826

    What I say about an inch per week so many times per week. is also adjusted by the finger test. I touch the soil at various times between irrigations. Bone dry soil is not allowed. All I get out of that is wilted grass and weeds that like to grow in drought conditions. No need for calculations that will give a math major a headache. If the soil is bone dry, something needs to be done.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    I agree 100%... it is unbelievable how people define,,, dry...

    It is almost as goofy as how they define,,, moist...

    Then you want to add finer points according to,,, Loam or worse yet,,, Texture... :)

    Do you realize that all these subjects could be discussed intelligently,,, IF,,, no one come in here and started calling people stupid and ignorant??? Imagine the discussions we could have... :)
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,826

    All I have to do is open up a hole in the lawn with my pocket knife and stick my finger in an inch. That tells me plenty. No need for any obscure instruments. That is one of the first things I do to a dry spot in a lawn. Sometimes dry spots are disease or insect damage. RoundUp or gas will do the same thing.
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Pretty simple and still the most excellent way... :)
     
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    A quick look around tells me the first part (texture) must be directed at me. I suppose you do not believe is soil structure either then? For the record, I have not seen anyone (I am sure that I have not) call you --or anyone -- stupid or ignorant. It is worth pointing out, though that without using the words you yourself treat most people here and many of your customers in the third person as if they are one or the other or both.
     

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