Construction sites are often brutal on the land. While the building of something new is exciting, the soil pays a price in the meantime. It is stripped bare, turned over, compacted, neglected, sometimes polluted, and generally trampled upon.
The image above is from a typical residential site, some simple grading and mounding to prepare for new turf and/or landscape. (On the scale of a commercial jobsite, the damage is even more dramatic.) Maybe the homeowner’s vision is a lawn, or probably something like a planted area with flowers and maybe a couple evergreens between the house and the road.
But to revive that property is going to take more than seed, mulch and water.
What is Dead Soil?
Dirt isn’t just dirt — it is a vibrant, synergistic ecosystem teeming with life and interconnected relationships. But when you turn dirt over, run it over, tear it up and expose it to ultraviolet light of the sun, the beneficial microbes that once provided a landscape with life end up quickly getting baked to death. Even stripping plants from soil can starve the microbial activity, as the nurturing relationships are a two-way street.
When construction is complete, attention turns back to the landscape. But an attitude of “just plant something” is a recipe for wasted money, wasted water and sickly plant life.
What this means for homeowners, property managers and landscapers is that to re-establish something beautiful on the land, you have some hidden obstacles to overcome.
Dead Doesn’t Mean Done
The stresses of construction, traffic and compaction don’t have to be permanent. You can bring the land back to life and create a beautiful environment out of this very soil. You just have to be intentional about it.
You have to proactively reintroduce life to the soil as you shape it and plan it. Mycorrhizae, Trichoderma fungi and beneficial soil bacteria were made for this very purpose! This will dramatically reduce the time needed for plants to establish because that robust ecosystem under the ground will be busy creating relationships between the plant, the root system, the soil, and each other.
Your soil amendments will perform better and so will your fertilizers and nutrients. And if you include superabsorbent polymers around your root balls, you’ll reduce watering requirements as well.
Dead soil doesn’t have to stay that way, and it doesn’t have to hold back your landscape. Energize nature with some site prep and solid planning — intentionally and intelligently. We’re here to help!