View Full Version : My First Soil Test Reports. Please give your valuable comments!

04-23-2008, 10:34 AM
Hello Experts, I need your help in understanding my first soil test.

I live in Indianapolis, IN, Zone 5

Total Yard = 12,000 SF
Front Yard Sod = 3, 200 SF (Thin Growing Very Slow)
Back Yard KBG = 8, 800 SF (Green, 3-1/2’’ tall, Growing, Few Bare Spots)

Overseeding Plan = In August month. I wish to overseed sod as well, if I can.

March 2008 = Applied Lesco 25-2-5 (Dimension 0.10%), 50 lb bag

Per test results (2 reports for frond sod)
Front Yard = I need approx. 64 lbs of 20-10-10
Back Yard = I need approx. 294 lbs .of 12-12-12 this year.

What should be my schedule of fertilizing? I live in Indianapolis. IN

............................Front Yard (lbs)................................Back Yard (lbs.)
August I want to overseed this month
December = Snow
January = Snow
February = Snow

Should I buy Lesco/John Deree brand fertilizer or any brand from box stores. I do have couple of Farm Co-Ops near by, I do not know if they will sell it to me.

Thanks for your comments. I sincerely appreciate!

I used these online calculators



04-23-2008, 10:53 AM
I want to take a shot at this, but I'm by no means an expert.

First off, that soil test seems to be lacking some of the key stats I'm used to-- most specifically the base saturation and the makeup of the base saturation.

What mostly stands out is the 7.9-8.0 pHs. I would presume you've got high calcium dominating your base saturation, pushing up the pH, and tying up available available nutrients (K specifically). Everyone please correct me here if I'm wrong.

I would guess this is a result of over-liming.

Add some elemental sulfur now or a couple apps of ammonium sulfate in the fall.

04-23-2008, 11:08 AM
Thanks CrazyJ

i have never applied lime.

04-23-2008, 09:41 PM
10lbs per thousand sulfur should lower the pH one point. Apply and test again next spring. There's no quick fix for organic matter, but if you can, switch to an organic or organic based fert and apply at a higher rate (15-20lbs per k).

04-23-2008, 10:06 PM
It looks like they have not changed their soil recommendations for many years, and they are more suited to growing corn than grass. If your phosphorus is high--and phos is a major comtaminant of lakes--why would they suggest you need it?

If potash is adequate, why do they suggest adding it?

They do not suggest doing anything to correct the soil pH of 8. Perhaps this is OK, since it is hard to change--and grass will tolerate the high pH. But...high pH can result in poor availability of iron. Maybe manganese also. So they should have recommended adding iron, or better yet, micronutrients, in every application.

And for the back yard they suggest 12-12-12 at 33 pounds per 1000 square feet! What were they thinking?

I think your cation exchange of about 19 is fine--wish I had that high.

Consider a tissue test of the actual grass tissue. Costly, but better. And get a modern lab.

Athletic field
05-18-2008, 11:20 PM
In response to crazy

Just a correction to the calcium theory. High Calcium on the exchange sites does nothing to affect pH. In fact Calcium does nothing to change pH. The carbonate part of lime changes the pH. Carbonate can be attached to calcium for calcitic lime and calcium and/or magnesium for dolomitic lime. Again soil tests are not all conclusive. They get an apporxamation about the soil and give results from that. Also, results and recommendations may look to contradicts each other. Each soil lab using different extractors to see what's in the soil. Penn state will recommend high P fert for establishment even if P is tested high.

I wouldn't get too caught up with base saturation. They assume that Ca, Mg, K, and acidity (H) are just on the cation exchange (Penn State) because the micronutreints only make up a small part of it. And so what if its high or low, they will give you recommendations based in part by base saturation

05-19-2008, 09:24 PM
IMO your soil tests suck. They lack info regarding important nutrient defieciencies such as BO, FE, CO, MN, etc. We use liquid micronutrient products that cover all the bases cuz there is no "dry fert" that offers all the needed micronutrients that high pH soils require. Actually we utilize as many as seven micro's that are commonly lacked on clay (high pH soils). Several years ago, we sent in soil samples from over 220 properties. That's how we know. On the other hand --------- you could hire a trucking company to come in and dump thousands of pounds of aluminum sulfur...... Then wait a few decades for it to work.:laugh:

Athletic field
05-19-2008, 10:43 PM
Hey american lawn. This is in response to your little saying you have at the end of your post. I agree with your statements about being taxed to death, but where are you going to move to that isn't already socialist?