Sustainable Practices Part 1: The Big Picture

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Kiril, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Topics in this forum always seem to gravitate towards turf and compost tea. Given this is the only "sustainable" oriented forum on this website, I feel it is appropriate to begin a series of topics that addresses all aspects of sustainable landscape management.

    This thread will be used to refine a list of the different aspects of landscapes and how they interact with each other. Following topics will dissect each of these areas in order to determine different approaches to management and solving common problems.

    As a start I will suggest the following groups based on their potential for developing an independent management strategy for each. Please feel free to add to this list.

    1) Soils
    2) Water
    3) Plants
    4) IPM
    5) Design
    6) Wildlife

    I think a good approach to this series of topics would be to spend at least 1 week discussing each area before moving onto the next. Once we have made it through all the areas, we can put together a final thread that brings it all together into a comprehensive multi-path management program that can be used as a guide for everyone from your homeowner to your golf course manager.

    Please try to stay on topic and respect peoples opinions as this series is intended as a learning tool for everyone who visits this forum. Also, nothing is gained by posting inaccurate information, so please get your facts straight and speak up (in a non-adversarial way) if you see something that is not right.

    I extend my thanks in advance to everyone who contributes to this series of threads.
  2. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    sounds good to me, I know I'll be checking in to see what has been posted.
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I'll assume the first topic will be on soils
    There are obviously different soils in different areas, I am not a soil hydrologist or biologist. I have studied a little but I believe there is a designation for each type of soil starting at total sand and moving to total clay.
    Does someone have those industry used terms or abbreviations? I think this would be a good start so that we can all be on the same page when discussing the different types of soils
  4. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    i don't know about any official terms but here in GA we call it "red clay." the name speaks for itself, it is red clay. It has all the characteristics of what you would think of the clay for making pots just not so goey. its kind of amazing if you stop and mess with it. I'd be really interested of course in what you have to say about it... drainage, etc.

  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Soils have a different mix of sand, loam and clay and there are industry terms for describing those conditions, I am just not familiar with them enough to speak out with any authority
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Yes, there is a specific naming convention used to describe a soil, but due to the complexity, I think it would be best to stay away from that. We can cover that in more detail in the soils section, and I will provide links for those who are interested in learning more about soil taxonomy.

    If you want to describe just using the highest soil orders, then we have the following.

    1) Alfisols
    2) Andisols
    3) Aridisols
    4) Entisols
    5) Gelisols
    6) Histosols
    7) Inceptisols
    8) Mollisols
    9) Oxisols
    10) Spodosols
    11) Ultisols
    12) Vertisols

    The Twelve Orders of Soil Taxonomy (high res pdf of the below image)

  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Doesn't necessarily have to be. I tried to order the list based on importance, but one could argue that design belongs first. Any suggestions for reordering the list?
  8. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    I don't care about the order, all I ask is when you start using all the big scientific words you put the laments term in parenthesis next to it. Like with all those soy types... maybe a simpler description of what each one is. I take it that my "red clay" is a ultisol. what kind of soil is it that yall have in your areas?
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Thanks Kiril, I

    would this be fair
    simply: there is sand, loam and clay generally all soils are made up of some mix of these.

    On the east coast most soils are clay with some loam and as you move towards the ocean they become more sandy. There are extreme with maine and NH areas having extremely rocky soils and in the far south, Florida having very sandy soils.

    I am having a hard time trying to get the thrust of this going in the right direction.

    Lets assume we are not talking about Ag applications and stick to what the forum is about LAWNS and LANDSCAPES

    Some of the issues in our clay soils are acidic PH, compaction (rooting depth), water standing in the soil and becoming anaerobic, clay is excellent for lining ponds.

    Someone help me with other issues in clay
  10. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    thats fine, i was just saying you guys can get some pretty big words goin sometimes. Do you what you want, I'll just do research to keep up. Lets me learn more. I have learned a ton as it is. Don't let me slow you down. What I was looking for was the affects of the different types of soil, clay soils dont have good drainage, they hold water to long, roots cant get deep due to compaction, and nutrients are all in the first few inches and deprived below that which I'm sure would lead to shallow root systems. I was just curious what soil conditions yall have to work with in your areas.

    if i get to annoying just ignore me, I'll catch up.

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