Recent flooding

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by 44DCNF, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,536

    Good or bad for soil biology? I'm talking about standing water on lawns for a couple days, and a day or more of flowing water washing over fields lawns, beds, gardens, etc. Overall is this diluting the microbe counts or adding to them through diversification and multiplication? Feeding some areas and robbing from others? What takes place during these events at the microscopic level....what are your thoughts?
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Soil breathes normally, the microbes in the soil literally exhale. When flooded for long periods the microbes can no longer breathe and go dormant, go to spore form or die off, these are the aerobic guys in the soil.

    Anaerobic microbes flourish in no oxygen, no light environments. Which ones exactly will flourish? the opportunists of course, these are typically pathogenic, just like with aerobic bugs, the opportunists are typically pathogenic

    When the waters recede there is normally a smell of rotten eggs or an amonnia smell, this is the smell of the anaerobic microbes. Over time as the soil drys out and the conditions are not right for the anaerobes they will die or go dormant and the aerobic will come back, which ones come back first, you guessed it, molds, mildrew, fungal disease

    I have never tried over running the bad guys as they come back in this flood scenario, but I would guess, in theory, you could stay ahead of the opportunists by consuming the food resources or taking their seat at the table with compost teas before they can get established
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,122

    And then again, alluvial flood plains were the most fertile land before the Industrial Revolution.
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Is that because it laid down so much sediment year after year?
  5. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    it all depends on the water and how long, we just had the same or worse 2 times in the last 2 months, the first time was 6 days of standing water, the lawns are all messedup from just the amount of time under water, not so much pathogen, the second time was just a little water, that time it was a fungal issue, dont know why...........
  6. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    For soil biology...

    To me it seems like you just need to grab your DO2 meter and see how much O2 is in the water (close to the soil maybe?). If it is good... you should be in a GREAT situation.

    If you can grow them in a tea that has enough aerification, couldn't the microbes prosper in that situation (assuming good aerification)?

    After all they NEED water to live...

    Water breaths just like soil.. and the amount of surface area where water can exchange CO2 for O2 in that situation is large (much larger than a CT brewer)... I'm interested in the DO2 readings...
  7. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    since water is h20 it has oxygen no matter what, but a water saturated environment in soil will have both aerobic and anaerobic organisms, now depending on whether the water is at a stand still and no fresh water is passing to the aerobics they you would think depending on #'s and available food eventually use up all the o2 in the soil spaces??

    poor drainage probably has more too do with anaerobic organisms taking hold, no new o2 being made available. not too much water being there. some hydroponic's plants grow in strait water but it has to be highly oxygenated
  8. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Lol sorry to pull from another field but...

    In fishkeeping (aquariums) it is understood that the surface water exchanges dissolved CO2 for O2. You keep one square inch of surface water for each inch of fish in the tank.. that way if the air pump goes out you still get enough CO2/O2 exchange at the surface of the water to keep the fish alive... generally in a cycled tank if you have more inches of fish than square inches of surface water the fish run into respiration issues..

    I imagine the "herd" is the same... they are in a fish tank as well anyway....??

    When O2 dissolves in water does it undergo any chemical change?
  9. cudaclan

    cudaclan LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Messages: 152

    And that's why it is called stagnant water. After a flood, dangerous mold spores can develop. Chemical run-offs and raw (human) sewage is released.
  10. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636


    That would suggest it wouldn't functuion like a "cycled" aquarium...

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