Soil Health

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by phasthound, May 27, 2012.

  1. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Green sand and red lava sand are good but expensive. Anyone try to sell that to a client?
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Disturbing the soil is bad, because it messes with the colonies of microbes... Should we be able to grow good healthy soils, without aeration??? Can we get the soil aggregates with gas exchange, w/out disturbing the soils???
     
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Yes we can!
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    So plugging the soil for aerating purposes, is unnecessary becuz there is a better way... What is it???
     
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Let the second and third level trophic organisms do it. :rolleyes:
     
  6. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,567

    I recommend aeration for the first year or so into a soil building program for turf grass because I think it will speed the process. After that, as long as you are able to maintain a healthy balance of life in the soil aeration should not be needed.

    The exception is sports turf due to constant compaction from play.
     
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,567

    The first trophic level is made up of the primary producers, that is the photosynthetic sources that turn the energy from sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugars or energy for the plants and the entire soil food web (usually a plant or tree, but photosynthetic bacteria and algae may also be included in this group). The second trophic level consists of the decomposers and mutualists: non-photosynthetic bacteria and fungi. The third trophic level is made up of the shredders, predators, and grazers (nematodes, protozoa and some arthropods), and the fourth and fifth levels are made up of higher-level predators. Ecological Landscaping Association
     
  8. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    so what did I miss?
     
  9. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,567

    You're right on target. I was just adding more info for those who may not know what is meant by the "trophic levels" of the soil food web.
     
  10. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    The article cited by the OP seems to be little more than an opinion piece and has little scientific background. If you're reading something without references following it, its nothign more than one person's opinion -- not scientific fact.

    While the OP's article does a good job highlighting some practices that are important in production ag systems, many of those practices are detrimental in turf systems. That is why I hate it when organic fert salesmen tell me how good their stuff is for growign corn and soybeans. I'm growing lawns -- not corn and soybeans! If the salesman can't adjust between the differences in the two cropping systems, he surely doesn't know anything abotu my business.

    Anyhow, if you're going to talk about soil "health" and soil microbial interactions, you need to learn from the experts. Please read the article linked here:

    http://aggie-turf.tamu.edu/files-2005/D-Zuberer-SPORTSTURF-article-2005.pdf

    Although the piece talks mostly about sandy soils vs native soils in athletic field management, the last paragraph is especially relevant to this discussion:

    "So, do you need to add “beneficial microbes” to the soil to make it function properly? That’s highly unlikely! Many studies of turfgrasses, whether in sports fields, golf courses or home lawns, have shown that soil microbial populations are not compromised by normal management practices. The best thing that you can do to “manage” the soil microbes under your care is to grow a healthy stand of turf and pay close attention to the condition of the soil or root zone supporting it. Paying attention to the agronomics of grass culture, fertilization,aerification, drainage, etc., will insure that the microbial populations are not being adversely affected!"
     

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