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Latest Soil Stories

2013-07-05 11:01:17

Plants with thinner roots can grow deeper, a trait which could be exploited in lands affected by drought and nutrient deprivation. New research, to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on July 5, shows that maize roots which have fewer cortical cells in the outer layer of their roots are more efficient at accessing water and nutrients. A research team headed by Prof Jonathan Lynch at the Pennsylvania State University, United States, found that maize roots show...

2013-07-01 23:23:41

Wonder Soil donated its Patented Wonder Soil Seeding Mix for a comparative study at Floyd Lamb Park, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) June 30, 2013 The City of Las Vegas has stepped to the plate and is Greening the Desert for hosts of Eco Conscious stars & athletes like Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi and Bono. Mayor Goodman in her continued effort for positive change with commitment to the community, conducted a dramatic comparative study to find the most water efficient seeding...

2013-06-26 20:42:26

Contrary to popular belief, crabgrass does not thrive in lawns, gardens and farm fields by simply crowding out other plants. A new study in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that the much-despised weed actually produces its own herbicides that kill nearby plants. Chui-Hua Kong and colleagues point out that crabgrass is not only a headache for lawns and home gardens, but also a major cause of crop loss on farms. Scientists long suspected, but had a hard time proving,...

Scientists Uncover Secrets Of Biological Soil Crust Microbes
2013-06-14 18:39:19

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online A new study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California has found the biological soil crust (BSC) layer of a desert contains microbes that lie in wait for the ideal conditions to begin metabolic activity. “We found a way to measure from start to finish in real unaltered samples the molecular events behind the response of cyanobacterium to wetting and drying in a desert BSC,” said...

2013-06-12 23:20:04

News from Sharon Kleyne on Summer Gardens, Soil Moisture and Organic Content Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) June 12, 2013 Water Researcher Sharon Kleyne recently reported on the best strategy to improve the quality and yield of summer gardens while greatly reducing the need for watering to increase soil moisture. According to Kleyne, gardeners and farmers have known about composting and mulching for thousands of years but only recently have the full range of benefits been discovered. As Founder of...

Tillage, Reduced-input Rotations Affect Runoff From Agricultural Fields
2013-06-11 13:55:55

American Society of Agronomy No-till management practices can reduce soil erosion, but evidence suggests they can also lead to increased runoff of dissolved phosphorus from soil surfaces. Meanwhile, farmers looking to avoid herbicides often have to combat weeds with tillage, which causes erosion. With all of the tradeoffs of different management systems, which one should growers use? To answer that question, researchers from the USDA Agricultural Research Service compared nutrient and...

Its Getting Dustier Across The West
2013-06-11 12:50:15

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Think of the Wild West and it´s likely you´ll conjure up images of tumbleweeds, gold miners settling down at the local saloon for a shot of whiskey, and ultimately, plenty of dust. Though there are certainly portions of the West that feature plenty of sand and dust storms, other portions are generally free of these conditions. The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) has just completed a study claiming that...


Latest Soil Reference Libraries

Sheet Mulching
2013-08-05 12:36:35

Sheet mulching, or lasagna gardening, is the process of turning barren ground into a more nourishing garden without digging. It is a layered system that can be used for a yard garden or a topical box garden. Starting at the bottom is a weed proof barrier, like newspaper or cardboard. On top of that is a twelve-inch layer of compost or mulch material such as old clothes, yard clippings, and manure, which provides for nutrient rich soil. Weed-free soil is added prior to planting the desired...

Desertification
2013-04-02 09:46:56

Desertification is a form of land degradation in which a comparatively dry land area becomes more and more arid, normally losing its bodies of water along with its wildlife and vegetation. This is a result of a variety of factors, such as climate change and human activities. Desertification is an important global, ecological, and environmental issue. There is substantial controversy over the proper definition of the term “desertification”. The most broadly accepted of these is that of...

Land Degradation
2013-04-02 09:20:15

Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by one or more combination of human-induced processes acting on the land. It is also the gradual destruction or reduction of the quality and quantity of human activities, animal activities or natural means. It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land perceived to be deleterious or unwanted. Natural hazards are not included in the causes; however, human activities can indirectly affect...

Erosion
2013-04-01 12:48:39

Erosion is the process by which rock and soil are taken from the surface of the Earth by exogenetic processes like wind or the flow of water, and then transported and deposited in another location. While erosion is a natural process, human activities have increased by 10 to 40 times the rate at which erosion is happening globally. Excessive erosion results in problems such as desertification, decreases in agricultural productivity because of land degradation, sedimentation of waterways,...

Soil Salinity
2013-04-01 11:15:13

Soil salinity is the salt content within the soil; the process of increasing the content of salt is known as salination. Salt is a natural element of water and soils. Salination can be a result of natural processes such as the gradual withdrawal of an ocean or mineral weathering. It can be caused by artificial processes such as irrigation as well. Soils that are affected by salt are a result of excess accumulation of salts, normally most obvious at the surface of the soil. Salts can be...

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Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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