In a recent article I read written by Wayne King Sr. of Exceptional Products in Georgia Wayne made the following comments. He said in a native forest 50% of the rain fall returns to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration, to fall again further inland. At least 35% of the rain is infiltrated into the ground water and the rest is detained in interflow through the upper soil layers with almost no surface run off. He compares that to urban areas where the soil has been stripped and compacted and most of the forest has been removed. In this scenario Wayne says less than 30% of the rain fall is returned to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration and less than 16% is detained and infiltrated into the ground water. The result is extremely fast runoff during storms that erodes the soil and stream banks, carries urban polluntants into streams, destroys aquatic life and leaves spawning gravels choked with sediment. The end result is extemely high cost to down stream property holders. Estimates in Georgia are between 100 and 200 million dollars.
Wayne goes on to say that one way to restore some of the forest’s function in urban areas with these poor soils is to incorporate 2-4 inches of compost or other organic matter into the upper 8-12 inches of soil. One study, Wayne mention, demonstrated up to a 50% reduction in storm runoff from plots tilled with compost as compared to un-amended soil. For more information check out www.erthproducts.com
At Earth and Turf we are believers in spreading compost on both new planting areas and on existing turf areas for the reasons cited above. We know most of the new developments have very poor soils and need compost to support proper turf growth without the excessive use of fertilizers and chemicals. We have a topdresser for all size turf areas and also want to have a cleaner safer environment for our children.