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Washington State University - Puyallup Organic Farming Systems and Nutrient Management

Urban Soils

Soils in urban and suburban areas affected by development are frequently compacted, cut, and filled, resulting in a poor environment for plant growth and increased risk of runoff and harm to the aquatic environment. Our research has focused on compost amendment of landscape soils to improve soil quality and plant growth. It included a comparison of surface-applied and incorporated compost in a woody landscape established on converted agricultural land (2001-2006), and a project comparing surface-applied and incorporated compost and biosolids products applied to cut and compacted subsoils within a highway landscaping zone (2007-2010).

Compost amendment of landscape soils:

Urban highway roadside soils and shrub plantings are enhanced by surface applied and incorporated organic amendments. Bary, A., R.L. Hummel, and C. Cogger. 2016. J. Arbor. Urban Hort. 42:418-427. (♣ Request pdf e-copy)

Soil and Redosier Dogwood Response to Incorporated and Surface-applied Compost. Cogger, C., R. Hummel, J. Hart, and A. Bary. 2008. Hortsci. 43(7):2143–2150. (♣ Request pdf e-copy)


Low-Impact Development (“LID”)/Green Infrastructure, Collaborators:

WSU-Puyallup Low Impact Development Research Program. The WSU Puyallup campus was retrofitted to reduce stormwater runoff. Rain gardens, permeable pavements, mesocosms.  Tours, training.

Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington, A Guide to Design, Maintenance, and Installation. 2013.  Dept. Ecology, WSU Extension, Kitsap Cty.