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Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    "Soil (formation) is the process by which soil is created.[1] It is the major topic of the science of pedology, whose other aspects include the soil morphology, classification (taxonomy) of soils, and their distribution in nature, present and past (soil geography and paleopedology)."

    Of course this has NOTHING to do with premixed topsoil additions and human management of the turfs...

    I would think that we could decide, what is necessary to get our topdressings, into the soil in the most efficient way possible...

    Any ideas? Why throw compost, fert, or even AACT on TOP of the turf? Will it take 1000 years to go 1" into the newly evolved soil?

    How does that work? What can we do?

    Other than makes personal attacks to one another, I mean... If it's possible... :)
  2. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,261

    I think that's what the little buggers in the soil do for a living.
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I picked this up from the website listted, but the question was: how do we get compost and other materials into the lower level of the soil... I'm beginning to believe that all meals, waste stream materials, including compost should even be applied unless you are aerating with a plugger... The rest of it, is all bs and no one really wants to discuss it... :)

    "Improved structure, infiltration, and water-holding capacity. Many soil organisms are involved in the formation and stability of soil aggregates. Bacterial activity, organic matter, and the chemical properties of clay particles are responsible for creating microaggregates from individual soil particles. Earthworms and arthropods consume small aggregates of mineral particles and organic matter, and generate larger fecal pellets coated with compounds from the gut. These fecal pellets become part of the soil structure. Fungal hyphae and root hairs bind together and help stabilize larger aggregates. Improved aggregate stability, along with the burrows of earthworms and arthropods, increases porosity, water infiltration, and water-holding capacity.."
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Axe ..... for the few properties I still personally apply compost on, I only aerate every 3-5 years.

    I just applied a pretty thick layer of compost in a small orchard not too long ago, and the increased in earthworm activity was phenomenal. I was out there last month checking some stuff, and raked aside a small area of the compost ..... and what did I find? I found about 10 earthworms in roughly 1 square foot. I wish I had had my camera with me.

    Here is another observation. I have selectively top dressed compost, some areas getting compost, others not. The difference in soil tilth between the two after 1 season was nothing short of remarkable.

    The point of all this ..... you don't necessarily need to aerate or till to get a beneficial gain in soil fertility/properties when top dressing.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Axe .... these "topsoils" that are sold are really nothing more than a disturbed soil .... a mixing of O, A and sometimes B horizons depending on the regional soils. Now if you were to go get a big chunk of granite (as an example) and throw that on your lawn .... then you would be starting over.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I agree, earthworms are the best aerators and soil builders and fertilizerers in the world... Is that what is happening in your observed, improved tilth?

    Is there something else happening, as well?
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    That is what is happening in part. The other big contributor is water moving organic matter into the profile.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Would it also be fair to say that, with high OM on the surface, that Microbes aid in creating structure that enhances the movement of that water? and that water management for the benefit of those microbes would be something the LCO could do to increase the utilization of the inputs that are put down?
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I don't know if I would go so far to say high OM, but in general, yes to the rest. The microbes will also continue to break down the organic matter into forms that are more easily transported into the soil profile. In areas that require irrigation, proper water management is hands down the #1 most important aspect of maintaining a healthy soil and landscape.

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