Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improving soil for better lawns and gardens

Date:
November 11, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
US Department of Agriculture scientists in West Virginia are finding ways to improve soil on degraded land so it can be used for sports fields and other uses.

ARS scientists are developing replacement subsoils and topsoils to build rain gardens and better and less-costly sports fields and lawns on compacted or otherwise degraded soils.
Credit: Photo by Susan Boyer

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in West Virginia are finding ways to improve soil on degraded land so it can be used for sports fields and other uses.

Researchers with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the agency's Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center (AFSRC) in Beaver, W.Va., are developing constructed or replacement subsoils and topsoils to build better and less-costly sports fields, raingardens and lawns on former landfills, mine lands and other degraded land. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

The constructed soil research project is in its fourth year. ARS is conducting the research in cooperation with the National Turfgrass Research Initiative, Inc., a joint turfgrass industry-ARS program created in 2007. The initiative draws on the expertise of scientists with ARS and at universities, according to lead scientist Rich Zobel at AFSRC.

The turfgrass industry has set a high priority on improving degraded soils by constructing soils that include readily available rural, urban and industrial byproducts that can be mixed with local soils. These byproduct mixes are being tailored to not only reduce rain runoff and erosion, but also to remove or neutralize pollutants before they reach storm drains.

With lower costs through using inexpensive local byproducts, schools and local parks have a better chance of being able to afford soil replacement for better turfgrass survival. Eliminating compacted soil is the first step toward growing good, robust grass.

The most promising mixture so far includes quarry byproducts and composted chicken litter. It has met predetermined requirements such as the ability to transmit stormwater.

Zobel and his colleagues develop recipes for constructing designer soils from various materials in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and southern Pennsylvania.

For the future, Zobel envisions new turfgrass varieties, possibly perennial ryegrass and tall fescue, that will penetrate compacted soil and renovate fields without the need to tear up fields and till compacted soil.

Read more about this research in the November/December 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/nov10/gardens1110.htm.

Findings from this research have been published in the Journal of Soil Science and Environmental Management and in USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Don Comis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Improving soil for better lawns and gardens." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109152937.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, November 11). Improving soil for better lawns and gardens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109152937.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Improving soil for better lawns and gardens." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109152937.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins