Soil Profile Variability in an Established Residential Community

Donald P Rainey, Amy L Shober, Gitta Shurberg


Urban soils have highly variable chemical, physical, and biological properties compared to undisturbed natural soils. The objective of this study was to describe the variability in chemical properties from soils collected from established (>10 years) residential landscapes. Composite soil samples were collected at a depth of 0 to 6 inches from lawn and landscape plant beds at 48 residential units and four park locations in Osprey, Sarasota County, FL. Composite soil samples were analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, and Mehlich 3 phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Deep core samples were collected to a depth of 48 inches from ornamental landscape beds at 16 of the 48 residences and from two park locations using a bucket auger. Chemical and physical characteristics varied widely in residential landscapes compared to park soil. Vegetative cover influenced chemical composition and OM of soils (except pH). Landscape management practices should be addressed per individual building unit.


nutrients, soil quality, soil disturbance, urban soils, lawn and landscape, landscape management

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283

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