Dredged Lake Soil

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by Eric La Fountaine, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    sw USA
    The following was received via email:

    I have not registered because I would not be a frequent user, my wife perhaps would as she is a full time gardener. To get to the point and maybe grow our relationship later, here is my delima- I have a neighbor who is dredging a lake bottom that has been previously drained. He has offered us unlimited quantities of the bottom material if we want it claiming that it would be excellent soil. As it attempts to dry it is a brilliant black dirt like material with some brown in it plus some gray that looks like sand (maybe marl?). It all acts like jello and the pile jiggles when you stick a shovel into it and it is very sticky under foot. This is downright weird to experience.

    I do not know what this stuff is or if it is usable in some fashion for gardening or even for lawns- has anyone had any experience with lake bottom material? It does look very rich and is supporting a hardy dense growth of long bladed grass where the lake bottom is but its jello consistancy and slowness to ever dry out has me wondering.

    Thanks for any insight.

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Could be full of toxics that have entered the lake and settled there, esp. if this body of water is surrounded by lawns or farming. For example, there is a posh residential area I know of that is built around a lake that is said to be full of copper now from years of residents putting moss killer on their lawns. Another possibility in your situation may be pathogenic organisms such as water molds (Phytophthora). Or, it could be fine. Sampling it and having it tested for certain likely toxics, nutrient content would be prudent. If you don't want to bother with that, probably time to say "Thanks, but no thanks".
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2005
  3. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    princegeorge b.c

    Might also help to find out if the "LAKE" is natural or if it is the polite term for a catchment pond. As you stated that it has been drained before.

    Is it infact grass that is growing or maybe sedge or bullrushes.

    A quick call to fisheries or the enviro people to find out if the inflow and outlet are considered fish bearing may also help.

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