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Clay Platelets

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Have to disagree, that is unless you are just talking about growing some random grass and not a high quality stand of turf. Beyond that "growing grass" is not the same as managing a turf grass system. Soil structure, in the case of the latter, is immensely important.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    That is why the #2 option is the best option... Duh!!!
    and I agree with the current article posted in this thread about soil structure being the 2nd most important feature in a soil... I do not agree with your assessment of the importantance of soil structure at all... go argue with the university responsible for this article, becuz they might care about your opinion... chee-wowowsnipping at my heels grows tiresome...
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,149

    I'll leave to others to figure things out for themselves. Kiril can handle the scientific side better than I can. Here's a link to help those who wish to pursue the importance of improving and maintaining beneficial soil microbiology. Be sure to click on Look Inside for a taste.


    Have fun all of you. Believe what you want to believe. I'm done.
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,149

  5. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    Maybe we're not all talking about the same thing here. No one has mentioned what kind of soil structure they think is desirable, why it is desirable, in what situations different structure grades are beneficial, and how you influence soil structure in turf systems.

    Remember, soil structure is the combination or arrangement of primary soil particles into secondary units or peds. If you've ever tried to dig some dirt out of the ground with a shovel and the dirt stuck together in clods, then you have soil structure! If you had no soil structure, then your dirt is either one large compacted mass (sodic soils often have this) or it doesn't stick together at all is is comprised of mostly one texture element (SSSA defines structureless soil as "No observable aggregation or no definite and orderly arrangement of natural lines of weakness. Massive, if coherent; single-grain, if noncoherent.")

    If you have ever tilled soil for a new planting or if you've loosened the soil with a rake for seeding, then you've destroyed the soil structure in the disturbed area. But, I don't think any of us would think it bad practice to loosen the soil for new seed.

    In golf courses and high-end athletic fields, sand-based rootzones are constructed which have no soil structure at all. If you like, you can mix up some of your favorite native soil, loosely place it in a pot, and grow a fantastic stand of turf in something with no soil structure.

    I understand what structure is in soils and how it can be beneficial to turf systems, but none of those benefits have yet been discussed here. It seems that some folks desire "good soil structure" (whatever that is) as an end unto itself, without understanding what good it does for their turf system.
  6. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    This is sounding like a broken record. You keep harping on the importance of soil microbiology (and I don't disagree), but you don't post anything that backs up your thoughts about HOW you "improve and maintain beneficial soil microbiology." Your link just tells us that several different microbes play key roles in plant-soil relations. I agree with that -- and have said as much in many different posts.

    I think we all understand that soil bugs are key players in productive soils. Where I think we differ is understanding how soil bugs fit into turf management.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Soil structure as in how it applies to infiltration, water holding capacity, root depth & density, percolation, gas exchange .... all of which are important with respect to health of the plant, the soil and management aspects of the system.

    Also, one can disturb a soil (including tilling) and still have structure.
  8. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    It sounds like you're talking more about soil texture and bulk density than about structure. Remember, structure is only the tendency for soil particles to stick together and form peds. Water and air flow moves easily between the peds, but not the same within the peds. This is why core aeration is often used in managed turf systems -- to correct for the inefficiencies of natural structure formation.

    Remember, I'm not saying that the channels of preferrential flow created by aggregated soil particles are bad or don't have any positive impact. I understand their role in water relations and gas exchange.

    But, there are guys here talking about creating structure and citing production ag articles, which have a totally different use for soil structure than turf systems. In that case, why not go back to the old 1950s method of dumping earthworms on lawns? Oh yeah -- it didn't improve lawns (although it did improve soil structure).
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    No, I am talking about soil structure. Certainly you aren't suggesting here that soil structure does not impact what I listed? If you are you might what to do some more research before replying.
  10. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    I didn't say that soil structure doesn't influence what you listed (though there are a couple of exceptions). Please read my post.

    Understand that soil structure (by definition) only impacts preferrential flow -- macropore flow. Water holding capacity is not influenced as much by soil structure (as long as pore space is available), since structured soils channel water away from peds. Infiltration, some gas exchange (though not all) and some root depth (though not all) are influenced by structure.

    But, that's not the issue. For those guys who are barking about building soil structure, how do you accomplish that?

    For the most part, the structure you're given is the structure you are stuck with. You can influence it by OM additions, the most efficient and effective of which is helathy turf growth and core aeration.

    It seems like you guys are hung up on minutia and are missing the main points.

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