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ampeg76
05-24-2007, 05:40 PM
i wanted to get some input on soil tests

i can get a basic test which includes: buffer pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, % base saturation, and CEC

for an extra cost i get: zinc, manganese, iron, copper, sulfur, boron, soluble salts, sodium, organic matter, and texture

i guess i want to have an idea of what a basic test should include, and what elements are really tangible to know about!

thanks
mike

mow2nd
05-24-2007, 09:16 PM
Who knows?...........I been around this business forever and we have never tested the soil. If we aerate, seed, fertilize, lime, spray weeds, pre-emerge, fertilize and the yard still looks like crap.................then we might send a soil samply off to have tested.

Nathan Robinson
05-24-2007, 09:29 PM
I am in the process of getting my new website set up. I just secured www.FreeSoilTesting.com I think it is important to test soil for micro nutrients. I could go on and on how this can help you. I bought a soil testing machine that tests these for $2,100.00. I have closed several sales just by offering free soil testing. People love seeing the change. Test often!

GrazerZ
05-24-2007, 09:55 PM
Who knows?...........I been around this business forever and we have never tested the soil. If we aerate, seed, fertilize, lime, spray weeds, pre-emerge, fertilize and the yard still looks like crap.................then we might send a soil samply off to have tested.

We are of the confirm target then shoot mentality,not the shoot first then see if its what you were after. To me soil test confirm what my objective is, and often results in easier sales for extra work once we have proof of what is needed in hand. My goal is to do a test on all new confirmed and existing customers.

ampeg76
05-24-2007, 11:13 PM
thanks for the input!

it just seems knowing exactly what a lawn needs is so much easier than a crap shoot, granted most lawns will respond to a general balanced fertilizer

i think it adds to a professional image, is better for the enviroment, customers like this, and are more willing to pay for the quality!

cheers
mike

Nathan Robinson
05-24-2007, 11:30 PM
you got it!

Deep Roots
05-26-2007, 04:57 AM
Do you find that soil in an area remains fairly consistent? I had a couple tests done last year and the results were nearly identical. I can vouch for the need to do soil tests and also vouch for the results you get by knowing how to use the information it provides.

Nathan Robinson
05-27-2007, 10:37 PM
Its all really close in my area. The biggest difference is in the standard fertility and alkalyne

Tscape
05-27-2007, 11:08 PM
Look people, turf needs certain things that are predictable and constant: N-P-K. All you folks who are building a better mousetrap by soil testing every lawn are just gimmick marketing. Now if there are abnormalities manifesting in the turf, then yes, a soil sample is reasonable. But a soil test on every lawn you treat is just not necessary.

NattyLawn
05-28-2007, 08:14 AM
Look people, turf needs certain things that are predictable and constant: N-P-K. All you folks who are building a better mousetrap by soil testing every lawn are just gimmick marketing. Now if there are abnormalities manifesting in the turf, then yes, a soil sample is reasonable. But a soil test on every lawn you treat is just not necessary.

Gimmick marketing? How are you going to know if the homeowner dumped lime on his lawn every year for the last ten years before giving you call? Or if too much of one micro is locking up another? Generally, most soil tests do come out the same in certain parts of my area, but the bottom line is you never know. Especially when working with organic fertilizers, it's best to correct all soil imbalances before starting a program so the customer gets the most bang for their buck. We don't require soil samples, but I do recommend them for most new lawns.

There's a lot more going on in the soil than NPK.

ampeg76
05-28-2007, 08:40 PM
Look people, turf needs certain things that are predictable and constant: N-P-K. All you folks who are building a better mousetrap by soil testing every lawn are just gimmick marketing. Now if there are abnormalities manifesting in the turf, then yes, a soil sample is reasonable. But a soil test on every lawn you treat is just not necessary.

i guess it could be seen as a gimmick by some, but i just ponder on how ridiculous it would be to go to a doctor with an simple ailment and he prescribes valium, glycerin, and vicodin without any labwork:)

timturf
05-29-2007, 12:35 PM
Look people, turf needs certain things that are predictable and constant: N-P-K. All you folks who are building a better mousetrap by soil testing every lawn are just gimmick marketing. Now if there are abnormalities manifesting in the turf, then yes, a soil sample is reasonable. But a soil test on every lawn you treat is just not necessary.

Correct soil chemistry is a must for quality turfgrass!

All new clients get a soil test, and continue on a yearly basis until soil chemistry is correct, then every 3 years.

Nathan Robinson
05-29-2007, 03:24 PM
no gimmick here. People want to know what there soil consists of and they want it to be corrected. They love this and let this be your first free lesson in customer retention. You could give free lawn care to most of my customers..Gimmick?!?!? thats stupid!

unit40
05-29-2007, 07:56 PM
I must do soil tests every year on each property. That way I justify to the taxpayers that I am taking good care of their property, purchasing the correct materials, correct amounts, proper fertility, etc. etc. Takes the guesswork out of liming. We justify additional P according to proven research and field trials. Without a soil test, then your making guestimates. Of course turf responds to N, thats the easy way...... but beyond that, if you had a test to go by, then you can correct for deficiencies and improve the turf even if it already looks great.

lilmarvin4064
05-30-2007, 01:13 PM
soil testing is important. I've gotten back many tests with pHs anywhere from 3.8 to 7.2. P levels less than 5 lbs per acre, etc. Calcium base saturations less than 20%, Mg base saturations higher than 60%. And your telling me I don't need to soil test? I guess it all depends on your area. I bet some locations are pretty much the same, but not around my area (especially new subdivisions, low Ca, P, organic matter). Usually micro tests aren't aren't necessary on acidic clay soils. I did a few and only 1 of them was low in zinc.

muddstopper
05-30-2007, 04:50 PM
Using soil testing will allow you to apply less materials and get better results at less cost to you. To much calcium will tieup most of the metal nutrients, iron, zinc copper, ect. To much P will tie up the zinc, to much sulfur drives out magnesium, or potassium or calcium. To much N drives out calcium and destroys humis levels. You can feed the grass with just willy nilly NPK applications, but if you find you have to keep increaseing the amounts you use each year, just to obtain the same results, you will eventually figure out you can save money if you will just get a soil test.