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Soil is more than "Dirt". All plants will grow better in good soil. So. . . what makes soil good? Different plants have different tolerances to soil conditions.


Lawns need a soil with good structure. This refers to the size and shape of the soil particles. Ideally, about fifty percent of the soil should be soil solids. The rest of the soil is composed of the empty spaces called pores spaces. Basically there are two types of pores. The small pores are important for storing water. These small pores contain the water and allow it to move in the soil through capillary action. The smaller the pores, the higher up (the greater distance) the water is able to move. Large pores are essential for drainage and aeration. These pores are too large to hold water (at least for very long) but they are important because they hold oxygen. Without the correct balance of water and air, the roots will not survive.

Clay soils are fine textured and have the largest amount of pore space. However, because the pores are small, they tend to hold less oxygen and can contain a lot of moisture. Sandy soils on the other hand, have large pores, thereby limiting the amount of water that the soil can hold.

The best soil will have a balance of fine-textured silts and clays, with some coarser textured soil solids to allow water to drain away after a rain or irrigation.

 

If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care - get The KING OF GREEN:

 

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Copyright 2007 Turf King-Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

February 11, 2007

Do tree roots keep coming up for air?

Tree roots need oxygen as well as moisture and nutrients. As the roots near the surface continue to grow and increase in diameter, they often end up breaking the surface of the lawn. These roots give the tree character and uniqueness, but the lawn mower is usually not very happy with the situation. The lawn mower (machine) will complain because its blades will be dulled or bent if they twirl into these surface roots. The lawn mower (person) is likely to be unhappy because the lawn mower (machine) is unhappy, and also because to some lawn mowers the roots detract form the lawn's appearance.

What can be done about these roots?

Some people cover the roots with soil, then plant seed or sod to smooth out the lawn under the tree. As long as the depth of soil is minimal, this can be a temporary solution. However, if too much soil is placed over the roots, the flow of oxygen to the roots will be impaired and the health of the tree can be affected. The problem with adding soil is that eventually, the roots will rise again and the lawn mowers may once more be affected by the exposed tree roots.

What happens in natural situations? In the forest, the roots may be exposed, but since there are few lawns in the woods, no one seems to mind. Usually there iare leaves and twigs littering the ground. These tend be less likely to pack down and to thus restrict the flow of oxygen to the roots. Thus, the roots have less need to rise up above the surface. In suburbia, the soil usually has less organic matter and is more likely to be hard, impermeable and just downright tough on tree roots.

Under trees, whether the roots are exposed or not, consider emulating the forest conditions by applying a layer of mulch 2-4 inches deep. This permits better oxygen exchange to the roots, reduces weeds, and also reduces water loss from the soil. Certain perennial ground covers or plants may tolerate the shady conditions under a tree better than a lawn. Hostas, periwinkle, lily of the valley and pachysandra are just a few. Trying to grow a decent lawn under a tree is not always easy, so looking at alternatives may be one way to keep both your tree and lawn mower content.

 

If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care - get The KING OF GREEN:

 

Turf King Home

 

Click here to Request a Quote Online -

 

or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)

 

If you would like more information, please Contact us

 

Follow us on Twitter  http://twitter.com/turfkingofgreen

 

Join our Facebook page  

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Copyright 2007 Turf King-Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

Winter has descended with a white blanket over the lawns in Hamilton and the cold is numbing at times.

The warm weather in December and January was unusual. I drove by a lawn in December after a few days of sunshine and saw a few dandelion plants with seed heads blooming. I swear I had driven by that way a few days earlier, yet I could not remember seeing any yellow flowers. I wondered if the dandelion seed heads had been sitting encased in their post-flower stage just waiting for some warm weather. If the weather hadn't been warm in December, would they have bided their time until the spring? Was this an effect of the "El Nino" winter that we are supposed to be getting? Will the dandelion puffs that dispersed their seeds in December result in more weeds or fewer weeds next spring.

 

 

If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care - get The KING OF GREEN:

 

 

or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)

 

If you would like more information, please Contact us

 

Follow us on Twitter  http://twitter.com/turfkingofgreen

 

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