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Compost underfoot: Improving turf performance by building better soil


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Turfgrass performs better with compost underfoot. Appearance, durability, rate of growth, water management, player safety -- all this and more is delivered through compost use both before and during the active playing season.

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Compost underfoot: Improving turf performance by building better soil

  1. 1. Compost Underfoot Improving turf performance by building better soil
  2. 2. To get better turfgrass, start with better soil.
  3. 3. Soil organic matter content in developed areas can be as low as 1-2%.
  4. 4. Experts recommend a soil organic matter content of 5%.
  5. 5. At 5% organic matter, soil offers:
  6. 6. Low to no runoff from a typical storm event (1-inch or less)
  7. 7. As much as 125,000 gallons stored per acre foot SOURCE: NRDC
  8. 8. $2.24 $2.42 $4.72 Water retention at a fraction of the cost per gallon stored compared to other options SOURCE: MMSD Green Infrastructure Plan $0 $1 $2 $3 $4 $5 Soil Amendment $.28 Rain Gardens $1.59 Bioretention/ Bioswales/ Greenways Deep Tunnel Storage Green Roofs
  9. 9. And an ideal environment for the microbes that degrade pollutants.
  10. 10. Microbes also convert nutrients to plant- available form and improve uptake of applied chemicals, reducing fertilizer needs by 50%,
  11. 11. and help fight some soil-borne diseases like dollar spot and fairy rings.
  12. 12. Higher soil organic matter also reduces hardness, resulting in safer fields for athletes while keeping playability within acceptable ranges.
  13. 13. How can turfgrass managers boost soil organic matter?
  14. 14. Use compost.
  15. 15. Broadcast a thin layer of compost before laying sod.
  16. 16. Top-dress with compost and core aerate. PHOTO: Courtesy of Ron Alexander
  17. 17. Top-dress with compost and disk in.
  18. 18. Blow compost with seed.
  19. 19. Get results:
  20. 20. Faster green-up and an extended growing season
  21. 21. Reduced irrigation requirement and higher drought tolerance
  22. 22. Faster absorption for less down time after rain events
  23. 23. Lower chemical requirement
  24. 24. Safer play
  25. 25. If your soil organic matter content is less than , add compost.
  26. 26. U.S. Composting Council Look for the Seal of Testing Assurance label Quality composts are certified by the
  27. 27. View more titles in the Talking Compost series at Production costs for this title were underwritten by McGill. Its use is permitted for educational purposes if presented in its entirety and without editing or other alteration. �McGill Environmental Systems of N.C. Inc. Questions? Call McGill HQ at 919-362-1161 or use a contact form at