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  1. #1
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    john deere gt235

    Default my soil quality is....dust

    i have an abundance of trees on my property live oaks, bradford pairs, and a few pecans. i think the amount of leaves that have decomposed in my yard have changed the balance in the soil. my yard has become very dry when i (if i have to) mow so much dust is thrown up in the air i have to use a mask. now dont get me wrong i clean up the yard many times in fall but when i do i rake lines of leafs then mow over them with a push mower to bag them. i had to install french drains because of flooding, i made a run off with river rocks to ease the flow of water in a better direction. what can i do to make the soil retain water and seed better. i read nitrogen helps leaves decompose so i was thinking about adding some to my yard? so my question is will this help with soil quality as well?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Reyer Farms's Avatar
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    Lena, ms
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    Mahindra 5010

    Default

    Here composted leaves make the soil great, very rich. N will help but we use it in piles were heat is built up faster and it speeds up the process. I would suggest your county ext office. The ag agent should be able to give you specific help for your conditions/ area.

  3. #3
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Central Texas, Jarrell
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    Kubota Grand L5030HSTC

    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust


    How long since you watered or it rained? Is this leaf dust...or is your ground very fine particles and this is ground dust?
    Nitrogen helps things grow. Is this a problem unique to you, or do your neighbors also have a dust problem? Maybe a photo to help us get a better idea of what you are talking about.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  4. #4
    New Member
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    john deere gt235

    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    hello and thank you for the welcome+re:
    the particles are very fine i dont have much grass due to a lack of sunlight im sure because it grows where there is light. i have asain jasmine in the front yard and its having a rough time, its slowly dying. a lot of leafs get stuck in the jasmine i try to blow them out with a blower and rake but it dosent work well. my trees seem to be healthy, the pecan trees produce a heavy crop. as for the neighbors yard no, their soil is ok. the earth in my yard is very fine particles (1/4"?) all over, its like the leaves deprived the soil of something. im not really sure what is going on but the soil is not a rich black it has a kinda brownish red tint.

  5. #5
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    Acworth, NH
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    JD 2305

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    Don't remove the leaves, mow them up & leave the residue on the ground. It's fantastic for the soil. Also it might be worth trying to find a shade tolerant ground cover. A layer of compost or manure wouldn't hurt.

  6. #6
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
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    Ontario, NY
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    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    any organic material like leaves, grass, straw, grass, etc helps retain moisture. mulch is a great way to hold moisture back. Dust comes from - well dry soil. Given you are in texas - not sure how you can keep it moist without watering it often if there is a lack of rain/water source.

  7. #7
    Gold Member wcampbell47's Avatar
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    Texas Coast
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    Kubota 7510 and B3200

    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    According to justweather.com the Dallas/Ft Worth is in Extreme drought condition. Forecast is for more of the same. My preferred way to deal with fall leaves is to run them through my shredder/chipper. Some years back I found a 14.5 hp Earthquake shredder on sale. Snapped it up. I have bagged and burnt leaves, but by far would rather run them through the shredder. I have a lawn sweep that I use to gather the leaves, then dump them by the shredder. I make a compost pile, turning it often and watering it down. Great to put around a fig tree. I am guessing that over the years, and especially with the Texas drought, your soil has 1. compacted and 2. the leaves may not be decomposing fast enough.

    Suggest you aerate the yard. With drought conditions you will want to water it down some first. I have a 1000 lb aerator that pokes 2-3 inch holes in my yard. Thousands of holes. This loosens up the soil without tearing up the grass. Provides the grass roots with oxygen and water. This would be an excellent time to aerate and fertilize for a healthy yard in the spring. Just did this to my yard.

    If you have patches of bare ground, no grass and lots of trees it is time to get the chainsaw out and get aggressive trimming up those trees, or hire a professional tree trimmer. Your trees are blocking sunlight, a key component for a healthy yard.

    Just my $.02. IMHO

    According to this link I think you are a great candidate for lawn aeration!
    http://www.allaboutlawns.com/lawn-ma...and-thatch.php
    Last edited by wcampbell47; 12-06-2012 at 10:03 AM. Reason: more info
    Caution: Some of my posts may be politically incorrect.
    Kubota B7510 & B3200

  8. #8
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    Organic matter like leaves and grass clippings just laying on top of the ground doesnt do much for the soil. You need to till the organic matter into the soil so the microbes in the soil can break it down into nutrients that plants can use. You could use a tiller or disc to turn the soil and dry leave together or even use a box blade with scarifier teeth to loosen the soil up and incorporate the dry material. With lots of trees, maybe some near surface roots etc, a disc might be the best tool for the job.
    Maybe you also need to thin some of your trees so a bit of sunlight gets down thru then and put in some shade tolerant grass like St. Augustine after you have prepped the soil with organics and fertilizer for a couple of years. Soil with high organic material will be black and will hold moisture longer and adsorb water better than soil with poor organic content.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  9. #9
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    Quote Originally Posted by Reyer Farms View Post
    Here composted leaves make the soil great, very rich. N will help but we use it in piles were heat is built up faster and it speeds up the process. I would suggest your county ext office. The ag agent should be able to give you specific help for your conditions/ area.
    Ditto on a visit to your county's cooperative extension office. I am confident that the responsible agent will recommend a soil test.

    The OP mentioned that he had a lot of trees. In addition to denying sunlight to the grass, the trees will "suck" a large amount of water out of the soil.

    Steve

  10. #10
    New Member
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    john deere gt235

    Default Re: my soil quality is....dust

    thanks for the info but the problem with leaving the leafs is that i have french drains installed. now i have looked into a shade tolerant grass but i prefer not to have st augustine i wanted bermuda but it will not grow in shade. so not sure what other kinds of cover would be effective in texas. im thinking a soil test is in order along with a sprinkler system. i did have my 2 biggest trees removed last year and i trimmed the others recently so beyond this im out of ideas

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