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Browse by Author: Luke Gatiboni
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1. Soils and Plant Nutrients

By: Luke Gatiboni

This Soils and Plant Nutrients Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook examines the physical and chemical properties of soil as well as the important role organic matter plays. The chapter discusses how to submit a soil sample for testing and how to read the report to apply necessary fertilizers.

Soils and Water Quality

By: Luke Gatiboni, Steph Kulesza, Deanna Osmond SoilFacts

North Carolina has an abundant supply of clean water, a resource vital to our high quality of life. Rivers, lakes, groundwater aquifers, and coastal estuaries are crucial to public health, economic development, and recreational opportunities. However, our water sources are constantly threatened with degradation by such activities as imprudent development, improperly managed agricultural and industrial activities, and unsound waste disposal practices. The soil exerts an important influence on water quality. How we manage the soil and what we put on it determine, in part, the level of treatment required to make our water supplies safe and enjoyable. This fact sheet explains how soils influence water quality and why efficient soil management helps protect water quality.

Soil Sampling Strategies for Site-Specific Field Management

By: Rob Austin, Luke Gatiboni, John Havlin SoilFacts

This factsheet for farmers describes concepts, terminology, and guidelines concerning soil sampling. Proper testing allows farmers to apply the correct amount of lime and fertilizer to fields.

Minimizing Risks of Soil Contaminants in Urban Gardens

By: Luke Gatiboni, Carl Crozier, Lucy Bradley SoilFacts

This publication alerts prospective gardeners to some of the most common contaminants in urban soils, such as lead and other toxic metals, solvents, pesticides and total petroleum hydrocarbons. This will help minimize potential risks to gardeners and to those who consume garden produce. The document includes information regarding site characterization, common contaminants, soil testing, interpretation of results and strategies for reducing exposure risks.

Soil pH Management for Fraser Fir Christmas Tree Production

By: David Hardy, Luke Gatiboni SoilFacts

This publication offers a discussion on how to lime Fraser fir Christmas trees. Fraser fir Christmas trees require a lower soil pH than most crops grown in North Carolina. Special management strategies for soil pH, calcium, and magnesium are needed to provide proper nutrition without over-liming.

Selecting a Strip-Till Rig

By: Luke Gatiboni, Josh Heitman SoilFacts

Selecting the right tool for a job is essential. When that tool is as important and expensive as a farm implement, the same holds true—you want to buy farm equipment that does what you want; is strong, durable, and reliable; and is generally the best value for your money.

Nitrogen Management and Water Quality

By: Luke Gatiboni, Deanna Osmond SoilFacts

This factsheet describes the effect of fertilizer nitrogen on water quality and the environment. It provides guidelines for managing soil fertility on farms to preserve water quality.

Alternative Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizer Products for Row Crop Production

By: Deanna Osmond, Luke Gatiboni SoilFacts

Nitrogen fertilizer products are being developed and marketed as having the potential to increase yields and nutrient use efficiency, and decrease volatilization (gas). How do these products actually perform on different soils and row crops, under various climatic conditions? This publication summarizes findings from recent studies that investigated alternative nitrogen fertilizer products for row crops in four North Carolina regions.

Starter Phosphorus Fertilizer and Additives in North Carolina Soils: Use, Placement, and Plant Response

By: Luke Gatiboni, Deanna Osmond, David Hardy, Steph Kulesza SoilFacts

Phosphorus (P) is the second most important nutrient in crop production but is often found in relatively low amounts in native soils. Decades of fertilizer application have led to P enrichment of most North Carolina agricultural soils. Excess soil P that leaves agricultural fields via runoff and drainage can cause algal blooms in water resources that lead to impaired drinking water quality and can limit recreational activities. Maintaining adequate soil P levels for crop growth can reduce P runoff, save money, and protect the environment

Managing the Impact of Floodwater Contaminants on Soil and Produce in Residential, Community, and School Vegetable Gardens

By: Carl Crozier, Benjamin Chapman, Catherine Kastleman, Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza, Bryan Luukinen, Samuel Cohen, Steve Yang, Luke Gatiboni, Lucy Bradley

This publication discusses how floods can affect food gardens. In it, you'll find recommendations for preparing your garden before a flood, precautions to take after the storm, and how to safely clean up and replant after floodwaters recede.

Sulfur Fertilization of North Carolina Crops

By: Luke Gatiboni, David Hardy SoilFacts

Adequate sulfur is necessary for crops, but there’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation for application in North Carolina. Best management practices take sulfur removal and incidental sulfur inputs for the entire crop rotation, soil type and profile depth layers and soil and plant analysis results.

Calculating the Rate of Acidifiers to Lower the pH of North Carolina Soils

By: Luke Gatiboni, David Hardy, Deanna Osmond, John Havlin SoilFacts

Plants differ in their tolerance to soil pH. This publication provides information on determining the target pH for different crops and calculating the appropriate amount of materials to reduce soil pH when necessary.

Long-Term Tillage Effects on Corn and Soybean Yield in the Piedmont

By: Alex Woodley, Luke Gatiboni, Joshua Heitman, A. M. Howard SoilFacts

This publication discusses tillage treatments for large-seeded crops like corn and soybeans in the Piedmont region and recommends minimizing tillage based on research at the Upper Piedmont Research Station.

Improving Lawn Care and Gardening

By: Luke Gatiboni, Deanna Osmond, Rich McLaughlin SoilFacts

This question and answer worksheet will help homeowners focus on potential problems with drinking water or other water resources that may be caused by improper lawn or garden care. Use and storage of fertilizers and pesticides, watering plants, landscape design and soil erosion are discussed.


By: Luke Gatiboni, David Hardy

This publication, chapter 7 of the 2020 Cotton Information handbook, provides information about fertilization for cotton crops.

Managing Lawns and Gardens to Protect Water Quality

By: Deanna Osmond, Luke Gatiboni SoilFacts

The purposes of this factsheet are to identify several major pollutants that often originate in lawns and gardens, to describe the problems they may cause, and to outline some things that can be done to minimize their adverse effects on water quality. This information should benefit home gardeners, landscape developers, contract lawn care specialists, athletic field managers and others who manage soil to grow plants for food, pleasure, or profit.

North Carolina Realistic Yield Expectations and Nitrogen Fertilizer Decision Making

By: Deanna Osmond, Luke Gatiboni, Steph Kulesza, Rob Austin, David Crouse

This publication discusses the Realistic Yield Expectations database as a resource for nitrogen fertilization rate decisionmaking. Topics include recent research and the resulting updates to the database for improved nitrogen fertilizer rates based on new yield data.

Saltwater Intrusion in Agricultural Fields in Northeastern North Carolina and Potential Remediation Options

By: Diana Rashash, Alex Manda, Carl Crozier, Luke Gatiboni SoilFacts

This publication discusses the effects of saltwater intrusion on soil fertility, how to identify issues with salt-affected soils, and various options to address these problems.

Alternative Product Demonstration and Research Guidelines for Extension Agents

By: Deanna Osmond, Luke Gatiboni, Robert Richardson, Hannah Burrack, Lindsey Thiessen, Joe Neal, Katie Jennings

This publication provides guidance to Extension agents on how to design and conduct trials and demonstrations on alternative products for plant and soil health and pest and disease control purposes. It provides standardized experimental design criteria and best practices for planning and executing trials for these products.