Significance and Use
4.1 When physically evaluating a soil, relative to its suitability to support plant growth (primarily grasses), tests must be performed to determine the presence and amount of solid matter (organic and inorganic) compatibility that can determine potential air-void content and water-holding ability, and finally, deleterious materials.
4.2 Typical general ranges of soil content for suitable topsoils are presented in Specification D5268. It should be recognized, however, that in some geographic regions, concurrence with the values in the referenced table would be difficult. In such situations, locally acceptable specifications need to be developed.
—The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/ and the like. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.
1.1 This guide covers the material characteristics, physical requirements, and sampling appropriate for the designation of the material as a mineral amendment.
1.2 The presence in the topsoil of the correct nutrient and pH level is necessary for healthy plant growth. This guide does not, however, cover a determination of the nutrients, nor their availability.
—The nutrient content of topsoil is important and the chemicals usually evaluated are nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. Nutrient deficiencies may be corrected by using fertilizers. Excess soluble salts should be examined as to their desirability. The acidity or alkalinity of the soil is also important. Excess acidity may be corrected by the application of lime dust. Excess alkalinity may be corrected by the application of sulfur or other suitable acidifying compounds. The latter item, in addition to lowering pH, also could be considered as an aggregate when considering the particle size distribution.
1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.
1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.5 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project's many unique aspects. The word “Standard” in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
C29/C29M Test Method for Bulk Density (Unit Weight) and Voids in Aggregate
C566 Test Method for Total Evaporable Moisture Content of Aggregate by Drying
D75 Practice for Sampling Aggregates
D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids
D1140 Test Methods for Amount of Material in Soils Finer than No. 200 (75-m) Sieve
D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction
D4972 Test Method for pH of Soils
D5268 Specification for Topsoil Used for Landscaping Purposes
E11 Specification for Woven Wire Test Sieve Cloth and Test Sieves
horticulture; landscaping; mineral amendment; soil; soil amendment; modification; topsoil ;
ICS Number Code 65.020.40 (Landscaping and silviculture)
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