What would work for sandy soils?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by CSRA Landscaping, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    When I read a thread all the way through and see an asinine comment, I have to go back and see who said it. Then, when I see that I made the comment :rolleyes: , I have to go and check out what time of day it was. Sorry about my last post folks! Let me see what I can agree with and defuse from my own mistaken message.

    First I agree with Jim's idea of incorporating wood chips or sawdust into SAND. I would not do it in clay because you don't generally need the retentitive capacity in clay that wood offers in sand. There is another problem with wood in CLAY. When the little wood rotting fungi eat, they need tons of nitrogen. This is the mechanism by which they "tie up" the nitrogen in the soil. You can overcome that by seemingly gross amounts of nitrogen (protein) fertilizers. So this concern can be overcome. But in sand there ain't nothin to rob nitrogen from, so just adding the wood is not a problem. As long as the unrotted wood is there, the sand will retain water for a longer period. This is a huge plus to establishing OM in the soil. This is BIG! So I think I agree completely with what Jim said. If not, I missed something again. In summary, using wood dust or tiny chips is great in sand and even better when tilled in and well fed. Clay is different.

    I have not tried this but I've seen enough people get burned by it that I don't have to try it myself. If you till compost into sand, it will vaporize before your very eyes! It vanishes with no improvements. The only way to use compost on sand is to use it on top as heavily as you can afford it. In turf, of course you still cannot smother the grass, so you are limited to about 1 cubic yard of compost per 1,000 square feet. This is hardly anything.

    If you've found a good humic acid product, go for it. I can't recommend one. That's all I'm saying. There is another product on the market that the manufacturer is sending me a bottle of (it's in the mail!). If that stuff works, I'll give you the name. It is a like a compost tea only with a shelf life. It is basically a bottle of microbes in a dormant, spore form. Once you spray them out, they wake up and go to work. Supposedly nobody else has figured out how to get the microbes into spore form in such quantities.

    I'm not sure I got that all covered and healed. I might be posting again. Today, my excuse is that I'm on some cold medicine that is keeping me from waking up.
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    We forgive you, David. Now, get some rest.

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