411homerepair.com

Latest Articles

8 Great Home Buying Tips

There is a lot to think about when considering a new home. Feeling overwhelmed and confused is easy, but don’t let emotions take over to the...

on Aug 17, 2018

5 Good Reasons Why You Should Hire Custom Home Builders

Whether you’re building your dream home, renovating your house, or trying to sell a second hand home, you should always consider seeking...

on Aug 14, 2018

Property Business and The Ways To Make a Profit

If you are thinking of quitting your day job and pursuing a DIY passion, refurbishing a home can provide a good channel to release all that pent-up...

on Aug 13, 2018

Don’t Overlook These Household Maintenance Tips for Avoiding Costly Leaks

It goes without saying that household flooding and water damage from plumbing and other household issues are time-consuming and costly to deal...

on Aug 12, 2018

Looking for Fresh Vegetables in the Winter?

Imagine having fresh greens during the winter season. Those supplies of greens such as spinach, chard, lettuce, and kale are costly, and you need...

on Aug 12, 2018

Understanding the Soil Environment

by Dan Eskelson on May 3, 2012

A basic understanding of soils allows the gardener to work with natural processes to enhance plant root growth and overall vigor. Turf grasses are as demanding of proper soil conditions as all plants - healthy soil grows healthy plants.  Soil is an amazingly complex, living ecosystem requiring a balance of organic, inorganic, living and nonliving components.

Recent soil science research has demonstrated that the most productive soils are loaded with a variety of microbial life; beneficial fungi, bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms work to decompose organic matter into humus. Humus directly influences both the assimilation of nutrients and plant resistance to disease, insects, drought and other stresses.

Physically, soil should be composed of fifty percent solids and twenty five percent each of liquid and air, with an organic matter content of three to five percent. This side of Iowa, the "ideal" soil is seldom found in the native habitat. Here in the West, we are required to amend the soil to provide the optimal growth environment. The various fine-particle clays and silts of our region benefit greatly from the addition of organic matter.

Alkaline clays (high pH) should also be amended with gypsum. The addition of organic matter to sandy and gravely soils is also beneficial, increasing water retention and providing essential nutrients. Initial expense for organic matter and other amendments pays for the continued beauty and health of the planting. New lawn installations should start with basic soil considerations; physical and chemical soil analyses may be desired.

Marginal soil conditions in existing lawns can be improved with cultural programs designed for the specific site. Regular aeration, vertical mowing, top dressing with compost or rich soil, proper fertility management and applications of foliar and soil biostimulants are all proven techniques for rejuvenating a poor lawn. A properly balanced soil will support deep, extensive root systems, allowing plants to assimilate all available food and moisture. The result is a thick turf which resists drought, weeds and disease.

For basic physical soil analysis, use a soil probe or large, strong knife to cut samples at least six inches deep. Examine for thatch layer thickness, particle size and distribution, compaction and topsoil depth. A minimum of six inches of properly balanced soil is required to grow a healthy lawn. A thatch layer thicker than one-half inch will act like a sponge to limit the penetration of water and nutrients to the root system. If necessary, consult with a qualified landscape professional for help with soil testing.

Basic chemical soil tests (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and pH) can be handled through the county extension service. For very thorough soil analysis with written interpretation and recommendations, contact Integrated Fertility Management at (800) 332-3179. What occurs below ground, unseen, largely determines what we see above ground. The knowledge of basic soil conditions is essential to proper cultural decisions and practices. Again, healthy soil grows healthy plants.

Preferred Organic Matter Amendments

  1. Commercial compost - bulk or bagged
  2. Well aged manure - our favorite is horse
  3. Blood, bone and cottonseed meals
  4. Bagged products - steer manure, chicken compost, etc .
  5. Well rotted sawdust
  6. Grass clippings - with no herbicide residue!
  7. Chopped straw or hay.
  8. Decomposed pine needles (for acid loving plants) and hardwood leaves(#'s 5-8 are best when first composted with manure, or worked into the soil well ahead of planting)

Dan Eskelson @ Clearwater Landscapes, Inc.

Author

Most Recent Articles

Sponsored Articles

Random Articles

Why Metal Blacking is often a Better Choice than Plating and Painting

As a manufacturer who usually works with metal, you might need a way to change the colour of your products to make them as appealing as possible to...

Hire Contractors / Estimates

Boost Your Electrical Service With Multitude

Businesses that provide electrical services or goods and professional electricians make invaluable contributions to society. From the home and...

Electrical / Lighting

Beautifying Your Home's Exterior

There are lots incentives why homeowners desire an improved home exterior. Maybe you want to sell your home in the future, are bored with the old...

Garden / Landscaping / Patio

Should You let furnished or unfurnished?

If you’re a landlord, or you’re thinking about investing in property either for a living or to supplement your other income, you’re going to have...

Bedroom / Furnishings

Essential Services that Every Homeowner Needs

Running a family home can be a full time job, especially if you are not organised, and even if you are a systematic person with good organisational...

Hire Contractors / Estimates

Actions

Contact Us | Submit Article | 411homerepair © 2018