Soil Remediation with Soil Activators
Besides downed trees, the most often-asked question Iíve been getting on both the radio show and via emails have to be about salt water damage following Hurricane Ike and the storm surge. The simplest way to recover turf and landscape beds following salt water damage is to use soil activators, or anything that can re-build the microbial health to the soils saturated in salts.
Medina Soil Activator has been used on arid soils that are high in sodium salts for almost 40 years with good success. In fact, it was the results on rice land that had been flooded with ocean salt water that helped to generate sales for the newly established company in 1962. When Hurricane Carla came on the Texas Gulf Coast it brought salt water on many of the rice fields. Salt content was so high that the rice would not germinate. After one application of Medina Soil Activator used at the rate of 1 gallon per acre several months before planting the new rice was growing in the salty soils again.
So, following Ike here are the recommendations from the Medina Company in using soil activators and other organic amendments for the remediation of soils.
1. Soils very high in salts
A. Apply 1 gallon Medina Soil Activator, 1 gallon Medina 12% Humate Humic Acid, and 2.5 gallons Medina 8% Liquid calcium to the acre. These products can be tank mixed and diluted to the necessary volume to accommodate the application equipment being employed.
B. After application, disk to incorporate the products into the top layer of soil.
C. Wait three weeks and plant barley or other salt tolerant plant. When growth reaches 10 to 15 inches in height, disk in the crop and apply 1 gallon of Medina Soil Activator, 1 gallon Medina 12% Humate Humic Acid and 2.5 gallons Medina 8% Liquid Calcium.
D. Wait four to six weeks and plant the intended cash crop. It is best to plant a salt tolerant cash crop the first season.
E. Continue to apply 1 gallon Medina Soil Activator and 1 quart Humate Humic Acid per acre at the end of each harvest for maintenance.
2. Soils medium to high salts
A. Apply 1 gallon of Medina Soil Activator and 1 gallon Medina 8% Liquid Calcium per acre at least two weeks before planting. If possible, make this application on the crop stubble after harvest of the previous crop. Disk to incorporate.
B. After each harvest, continue to use 1 gallon of Medina Soil Activator and 1 quart Humate Humic Acid per acre for maintenance.
Granted, these recommendations are for agricultural land, so to make it easy for the homeowner in recovering turf areas and typical landscape beds, use the Soil Activator once every two weeks (you can use it every week, if you so desire with no negative results) along with the Humates or Molasses. The application rate recommended for Salt Remediation in lawns and landscapes is 6 or 8 ounces per gallon of water. Then saturate the soil. Three to four applications should be enough for most turfgrasses.
If you need even more confirmation of this, first listen to our interview with Stuart Franke with Medina. He goes through the benefits of soil activator in areas saturated with salt water.
Finally, you can also see an interview with a gentleman who saved a commercial landscape business following Hurricane Katrina in the Alabama area.
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
Be sure to check out Randy's Event Page to see where else Randy will be for the next few weekends. Bring your plants, bugs, and diseases for identification purpose.