Here where I live- Rockaway, NY- I have all sand laying on top of
construction rubble from the new home construction and the demolition
of Rockaways' Playland. (I'd have a MUCH bigger garden if I didn't
have to dig out all the damned concrete!) Drainage is awesome but
organic matter (except what I add- I put down peat moss and I compost
EVERYTHING) pretty much sucks. What's better for watering for a lawn-
a soaking thunderstorm that lasts an hour at most, or a slow drizzle
that lasts overnight? I have my suspicions but I would like input, and
most of all I would like to know WHY one is better than the other.
Each soil will have a maximum infiltration rate, for sand it is quite high.
If the rate of application exceeds the infiltration rate the excess runs
off. Broadly slow sprinkling is better as it is unlikely to exceed the rate
but you can test this yourself to see how quickly you can apply water before
it runs off. In general you don't want to have runoff as that is wasted.
Another issue is the holding capacity of the soil. Once the soil is
saturated applying more water is of no benefit. How close to saturation you
want to come depends on the situation but saturation can kill or cause
damage to plants (depending on the plant) by excluding air from the roots
and this level of watering is rarely beneficial unless you are growing bog
plants. If there is an impervious layer under the soil the excess beyond
saturation will run off no matter how good the infiltration is. If there is
not an impervious layer below then the excess will soak away and end up in
local waterways by an underground route. In either case it is wasted for
your purposes unless you are interested in recharging the local aquifers at
your own expense.
A third and minor issue is that storms with lightning fix atmospheric
nitrogen so a lightning storm can provide a little soluble nitrogenous
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