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 Post subject: Clay
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 9:51 pm 
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I have a Bermuda lawn growing in black/grey clay. I have seen cracks up to 4" wide and over two feet deep in my yard in Aug. the chemical solutions to make my grass look good do work but the soil stays rock hard and will not ever be more than it is now if I continue this. My question is can the natural way offer me a way of getting this clay broken up? There are only two options I know of. 1) have a tractor come in and take away the top 2 feet of clay and and have Silver creek materials truck in 2 feet worth of top soil then follow the natural way. Or 2) try to get enough clay eating microbes and other beneficial organisms in here to break up the clay. I cannot afford option 1 and I am concerned that option 2 will be a second full time job. Any helpful advise would be greatly appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Clay
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 8:01 am 
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I have had great success with Medina Soil Activator. It stimulate beneficial organisms in the soil and actually loosens clay soils.

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 Post subject: Re: Clay
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:35 pm 
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Medina Soil Activator is a pure chemical product. There is nothing organic in it at all. The ingredients are
magnesium chloride
ferrous sulphate
zinc chloride

All it does is retain moisture in the soil. You can do the same thing by spraying baby shampoo at a rate of 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. I'm not making the claim that shampoo is organic, but it does work and does not pretend to be organic by claiming 'biological activator.' They do the same thing.

Sorry for the rant on Medina products. Most of them are not organic, and it bothers me when the organic gurus get on the radio and expound upon how great and organic they are. Read the labels. Median is careful to not make specific claims about being organic, but they tout the ability of their products to stimulate the biology. All that is a side effect of using their chemicals. Shampoo has the same effect on the soil and the same resulting side effect on the biology...and shampoo costs a small fraction of the other chemicals. I will concede that the folks at Medina know more about making soil work than 99% of the other experts (especially those at TAMU), but they do most of their miracles with chemicals, not with chicken litter or real fertilizers. [end of rant]

I have had success closing up gaping cracks with a soaker hose. My niece had cracks so big her gate fell over. I reset the poles and turned the soaker hose on at a very slow drip. A week later the poles could stand on their own and the gaps were almost completely closed. Now if you couple this soaker approach with the shampoo, and make sure you are watering a full inch once a week when you water, the soil should remain intact. Just normal watering on grass should keep the soil closed.

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 Post subject: Re: Clay
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:42 am 
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magnesium chloride - evaporated seawater
ferrous sulphate - is IRON!!

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 Post subject: Re: Clay
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:35 pm 
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There is 10x more sodium in seawater than there is magnesium. Mag chloride comes from sea salt but it is highly treated to purify it out of the sodium brine. So it's not as simple as evaporated seawater. By that analogy, are you implying the sodium nitrate mined in Chile would be fine to use as an organic program? I'm saying that it is not organic and it does not feed your soil microbes...unless they are magnesium deficient.

Iron sulfate is the green chemical that gives Miracle Gro that blue-green color. If you are going to stick to an organic program, neither mag chloride or iron sulfate are acceptable.

What I proposed with the soaker hose is organic, free, and works. If you add in the shampoo then it could cost you as much as $0.30 per 1,000 square feet.

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