Only asphalt sheds water more rapidly than a lawn with Washington state's Alderwood soil, writes Lynda Mapes. One of the most effective ways to correct the problem is through heavy additions of water and fertilizer -- a controversial solution to some people. Robert Harrison, soil scientist at the University of Washington's School of Forest Resources, found that compost, leaves, pine needles, wood chips or other organic material, shredded and mixed into the soil, will help hold water and slow runoff.

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The Seattle Times

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