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 in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Humic acid article in turf mag

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    Why are you making an argument when there is none?
    What I don't understand is:
    Humates in Compost and other OM?!?!?! anyone would roll their eyes at such a thot!!!
    What is that supposed to mean?
    We all understand that humus is a good thing... but that is not what we're talking about is it???
    What are we talking about then?
  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    Those are the specific effects I am after. Undecomposed organic matter or organic matter that has not become humic acids is detrimental in my situation. It is a costly and labor consuming way to turn a lawn into a brick. You can make a really good adobe block by mixing clay, salt and organic matter. On the other hand, soluble humic acids are very helpful amendments for the salt contaminated compacted soils that I deal with. I am disinterested in mechanical aeration and applying raw organic matter because for all of the labor and expense, it does not stop compaction. Addressing calcium, magnesium, pH, and usage of humic acid in addition to, but not instead of the above factors corrects soil structure.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    We are still talking about Redundancy...

    I asked the rhetorical question about Redundancy in humic acids,,, because they exist in all SOM and that there is an Abundant Supply in compost...

    You claimed ,,, "NO"...

    In that context ,,, your claim of NO indicated that well endowed soils with application of compost, rapidly growing turnover of grass clippings, Milorganite,,, etc., etc.,,, indicated that adding humic acids would NOT be Redundant[I/] and I'm trying to get an explanation as to WHY you say such an erroneous thing...

    Before you sidestep the Real Question again,,, think for a moment how silly that sounds OR better yet... Prove me wrong... I carry on more rational and logical discussions with my teen age grandkids,,, so don't pretend to not understand what the issue is... :)
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    You are correct in the general claim that humic acids help plants stuck in soils that are low in humic acids,,, just as sandy soil would benefit from an amendment that increases CEC of the soil...

    How do the Humic Acids create soil structure in clay and salt soils???
    Why are not the forest floors on clay soils and mixed with generations of leaves, branches, animals and their poop,,, Solid Brick by Now???
  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    No salt problems in most forests. I am envious of the kind of soil you have in the Midwest. We have forests here too. They occur inland, away from the coasts. Problem occurs when a jackwagon transports that soil to the coastline and places it where salt contaminates it.
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    Hit reply too soon. I do not need a ream of research papers to see that salt affected clay soils change when treated with soluble humic acids. Instead of resembling grease, they aggregate into granules. In my situation, layering or tilling various materials into such soils still gives me grease mixed with whatever was tilled into it.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    That is interesting to know,,, and to note... We have such simple textures that our local construction yard mechanically manufactures top soil that is of a premium, or basic classification...

    I buy the straight compost from them,,, which is the same compost they use in their topsoil line...
    I'm just glad to see you are not insisting that they are manufacturing paver bricks... :)
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    I have a local operation that mixes incompletely composted organic matter with clay and sells it to people that do not know better. If salt gets into it, Oy Vey. Not nearly as bad if that material is used inland. But I can never understand why someone would buy more red clay when that is what is already there. I would correct calcium, magnesium and pH, then bring in a lot of well decomposed organic matter. I am also not opposed to bringing in well decomposed organic matter to sand and tilling it in. No dirt or "topsoil" though. In the right proportions, a sand/organic matter mix is a USGA greens mix.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    A sucker born every minute... I have the same thing here in the Midwest in that,,, the Texture of the soil isn't THAT far off in 45% sand and 45% clay,,, so if we just added the compost,,, instead of the clay/sand PLUS compost, everything would be cheaper and easier to navigate...

    Topsoil is a lot of work, suffocation of existing grass, and too much seed that may not be here when CG pressure is on next Summer... but,,, compost by itself, leaves existing turf thriving,,, while filling in the barespots... That is my dealings with the 2... :)
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,064

    I cringe when people put "topsoil" or soil and compost mixes on top of a lawn. In my area, sand that does not contain salt or free alkali is the best topdressing. The soils usually have over 5% organic matter already and the topdressing is being done following mechanical removal of undecomposed organic matter/overgrowth. Warm season grasses are not easy. Mixing small amounts of sand(less than 50%) into bare soil just makes bricks as well. There have been situations where my recommendation has been to remove 18" of the dirt and sand mix, replacing it with sand, aggregate and organic matter.

Share This Page