Understanding Soil Types
There is a significant and wide ranging community of scientists and trade experts who have spent many years studying and trying to understand how the complex mechanisms of life within soil operate and how we can best protect them, but also use them to their best to supply, not only the food we need to live, but also how best to use them to supply our recreational needs.
It is suggested that there are upwards of 100 million different types of organisms in the soil on the planet and all of them operate in a complex biological relationship.
So how is the lay person supposed to get to grips with all this complexity? Basically, they do not have to!
There are some simple rules that we can follow to help look after our soil and not damage it. Soil health and sustainability are current keywords in the food production industry. They revolve around key things like not damaging soil and not depleting its reserves. https://perfectgroundsolutions.co.uk/soils/
We damage soil generally by trying to work it when it is wet. This means that we destroy the structure of the soil by squashing out all the air. Soil needs air to be able to pass through it as well as water to help sustain organisms and plants. Simply walking on the soil in the wet will to some extent cause compaction which means the soil is squashed and then air and water cannot penetrate it. The picture shows soil damaged by builders which will take a long time to put right!
Another classic case would be a football pitch which gets very wet and muddy, but often the soil under the top 50mm is dry, we have created a wet clay layer through which the water cannot penetrate.
Nature will often solve this problem when the soil dries by shrinking and causing cracks. Although often we have to help things along by aeration which helps lift and crack the soil.
In dry conditions, (seen here) we cannot compact soil very easily so that is the time that we should try to carry out any ground works.
Nutrition levels are important. If we mow our grass and take the clippings away, we are taking away nutrition. This is fine as long as we recognise the fact that we need to replace. Rain also washes some elements from the soil, the main ones being Calcium, Nitrogen and Potassium. Perfect Ground Solutions monitors soil nutrition levels and adjusts the types of fertiliser we use to match offtake as much as possible throughout the year.
This is somewhat easier if flower beds as we can bring in manure and other composts through the year. It is relatively easy in lawns, but we just need to be careful as it is easy to cause “scorching” with fertiliser if it is not applied evenly and at the right rate. This picture shows the damage that can be caused by uneven applications.
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