So it’s been awhile or a long while since we last posted but that’s about to change. We are getting back to writing blogs and talking about, of course SoilTech, but also about lawn care and the industry.
In the next couple of blogs, we are going to cover the testing we have done on SoilTech and that are listed on our research webpage. There are explanations of each test but we are going to explain a handful of them a bit more. The first one we are going to discuss is from ISTRC or the International Sports Turf Research Center, and done at the Belmar Golf Course in Norman, OK. This test has a lot of parts to it since it tests for several different aspects. Each one of those aspects correlate to the benefits of using SoilTech, but in a quantifiable way.
To see the full test, click here
Bulk Density: The bulk density test is, as the names implies, is the density or how much of something is packed into a given volume. In this case, how many grams of soil are in one cubic centimeter and is a general test of how compacted a soil is. The higher the number, the more soil is compacted into the cubic centimeter or how compacted it is. SoilTech reduced the bulk density by 18.3%, not a high number but as you will see this isn’t the most important number.
Infiltration Rate: A lot better test to see how compacted soils are, the more water that can get through the soil the less compact it is. Remember that at the end of the day, a low infiltration rate is the cause of most issues associated with compacted soils. One example is standing water in an area of your lawn after a rain. SoilTech increased the infiltration rate from .02”/hour to .12”/hour or a 500% increase, and over time and repeated treatments that number will get higher.
Capillary and Non-Capillary Pores: These tests are at the heart of what SoilTech does to the soil, creating porosity. The different types of porosity that SoilTech creates are capillary and non-capillary. Capillary pores are long contiguous channels in the soil, going from the surface down into the soil and typically carrying water. Non-capillary pores don’t connect to other pores in the soil and are more like pockets in the soil that hold oxygen and other gases need for the roots but also soil microbes. SoilTech increased capillary and non-capillary pores 50% and 32% respectively.
Total Porosity: To build on the last test, total porosity is exactly what the name implies, the total amount of pores in the soil. SoilTech increase the total porosity from 35% to 47%, increasing the amount of pores in the soil by 35% is a lot. That means roughly, that 1/3 more water, nutrients, and oxygen, to name a few are getting into the soil.
40cm Water Holding Capacity: This test and the next one are the by-product of increasing porosity. 40cm water holding capacity test, tests to see how much water the soil will hold down to the 40cm level. The ability to receive and hold more water is a direct function of porosity, and SoilTech increased the capacity by 63%.
Root Mass: When the soil is “loosened-up” it makes it easier for roots to grow deep into the soil, but they also need a reason to grow deeper. If water is not making it far into the soil, roots will stay shallow where the water is. If the water is able to penetrate further into the soil, the roots will follow that water down. When SoilTech opens the soil up by increasing porosity and allowing the water to penetrate deeper, the roots grow deeper. For this test the average root depth went from ¼” to ½” or a 100% increase, but if we went back a year later I assure you it would be deeper.
Hopefully that shines a bit more light on this test and all the individual tests that are in it. We will continue to discuss other tests in more depth, but also more general soil topics in the future.