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kirk1701
03-29-2009, 05:15 PM
I have a few questions myself on the lime and started to post this in NEWINNJ thread as it might help answer his question. Then after I typed out a book I realized I might hi-jack his thread so. Hope this helps him some anyhow :rolleyes:

Pictures always speak louder then words so I try to use them when possibe to show change so here's a few.

One part of my front yard is a what I call "the troube area" due to the tree's which soak up a lot of the nutrients and is what I assume causes this whole side of the lawn to turn brown in the hot summer. Water, YES but don't seem to help, however a good rain will help it's just something about rain does the lawn wonders and is like a blessing from above where water from the hose just don't do much.

Now these pic's are from last year and to be fair I should note I was hit with double trouble last year due to the brown patch but this area always turns brown reguardless. Soil test were taken, which I will post a scan of because I really don't understand it and when it was explained to me it all went over my head just the same. However, looking back now at it I see a Lime area of 0.5 and if that is the pH level and with what I gathered from NEWINNJ thread the pH sould be 6 - 7 then what I did and my plan as of now seems to be what needs to be done to prevent it this year :clapping:

With that being said, I'll get to the pics. The first one was took last July and as you can see it looks brown from lack of water, NO I watered daily even through the drought. Not much I could do at this point but wait till weather broke and I put lime on somewhere around the beginning of Sept and the second pic was taken when I started reseeding on Sept 16. The third and fourth pics both taken exactly one week apart (Sept 23 and 30th) following the reseeding, then the last pic was taken after yet another lime application a month after the last pic on Oct 30.

My question being, am I on the right track to prevent it this year? I was told that leaves makes the soil acidic and to reverse that you will need double lime so I just here last week put 150 Lbs of lime just on this side in hopes that I can prevent the browning over the summer?

Scan of soil test to follow in proceeding post.

kirk1701
03-29-2009, 05:16 PM
And here's the soil test results.

Kiril
03-29-2009, 05:26 PM
Not really sure what those pH values are for ... soil or water .... but either way, you DO NOT need lime. What you do need is more organic matter. Find a good compost supplier and put down 1/4" layer on your yard.

kirk1701
03-29-2009, 05:32 PM
Not really sure what those pH values are for ... soil or water .... but either way, you DO NOT need lime. What you do need is more organic matter. Find a good compost supplier and put down 1/4" layer on your yard.

I did that last fall also, used compost as a top dressing when I reseeded.

Is that why this area stayed green all winter?

Kiril
03-29-2009, 05:35 PM
Is that why this area stayed green all winter?

Could be one reason. What normally happens in this area during the winter?

kirk1701
03-29-2009, 05:41 PM
Could be one reason. What normally happens in this area during the winter?

No records to tell, the winter of 2007/ 08 it all stayed green but I thought it was something the lawn care service did or because it was new grass.

this past winter 08 into this year just that side stayed green but I did give it a hell of a lot of attention before winter came on :) The rest of the front just went into dorment when the first signs of 20 degree weather hit.

The reason I ask, I have a neighbor up the street who's fesque lawn stays green all winter no matter what and I would like to do what he does this year if possible.

Kiril
03-29-2009, 05:47 PM
IMO, you need to get your soil organic matter up to 5-10% (note: this will take time)
With respect to the recommendations from that report .... ignore them.
Get a new soil test from a different lab.

kirk1701
03-29-2009, 05:52 PM
IMO, you need to get your soil organic matter up to 5-10%.
With respect to the recommendations from that report .... ignore them.
Get a new soil test from a different lab.

Exactly what I did Kiril.
If I remember correctly see the numers at the bottom of the report.

I don't remember correctly but it was something like .40 and that was say potash I was low on and I needed to get it up to .40 and I could not get just potash I had to buy something with potash in it which was what they wanted to sell me.

Again, don't remember if it was specifically potash or something else, just using that as an example.

Kiril
03-29-2009, 06:02 PM
Based on that soil test, all you need is organic matter. One application is not enough. You will need to do at least 1 -2 applications of compost per year. I try to get down 1/4" - 1/2" per year depending on the soil.

P is not potash, it is phosphorous ... and you don't need that either. Inoculate your turf with mycorrhizae and that should take care of your P needs.

Your N needs may be met with your compost, depends on the source.

kirk1701
03-29-2009, 06:14 PM
Thanks Kiril.
That soil test was last year so probably due for another one and psss. I've learned here to take it to the local extension office :)

At least they won't try to sell you something you don't need.

Like I said, put the compost down last fall so think I'll get a soil test before I do anymore on that side.

One last question, that 150 Lbs of lime I put down about two weeks ago has not seemed to hurt it yet but should I expect anything bad? I don't think I will but want to be sure.

Kiril
03-29-2009, 06:19 PM
One last question, that 150 Lbs of lime I put down about two weeks ago has not seemed to hurt it yet but should I expect anything bad? I don't think I will but want to be sure.

Well, assuming that soil test pH is actually for the soil, you have not done it any good. You do not need to raise pH, nor do you need Ca or Mg. Nutrients that were already limited due to your pH will now be even more limited. So in short, you should not have added any lime.

kirk1701
03-29-2009, 07:15 PM
Well, assuming that soil test pH is actually for the soil, you have not done it any good. You do not need to raise pH, nor do you need Ca or Mg. Nutrients that were already limited due to your pH will now be even more limited. So in short, you should not have added any lime.

Now correct me if I'm wrong here but I was told else where that the lime will allow other nutrients to be absorbed more and less nutrients would leach through the soil?

and second, you say it may not have done any good but did I do any damage?

ussoldierforhire
03-29-2009, 07:59 PM
The first one was took last July and as you can see it looks brown from lack of water, NO I watered daily even through the drought.

Maybe that is part of your problem. Frequent watering is bad. Infrequent, deep watering is better.

david shumaker
03-29-2009, 08:21 PM
Too much lime can mess up the balance. The soil test appears to have said 1/2 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft. Like said above, it is better to water deeper and less frequently. There should be some information on your state extension office website to help you out. I forget stuff and refer to the extension website when necessary.

Kiril
03-29-2009, 09:21 PM
Now correct me if I'm wrong here but I was told else where that the lime will allow other nutrients to be absorbed more and less nutrients would leach through the soil?

and second, you say it may not have done any good but did I do any damage?

That is a bunch of hogwash (barring pH dependent CEC) and damage is relative. Is the damage permanent, probably not. Just don't use anymore lime.

kirk1701
03-30-2009, 01:02 AM
That is a bunch of hogwash (barring pH dependent CEC) and damage is relative. Is the damage permanent, probably not. Just don't use anymore lime.

Thumbs Up
No, no more lime planned till this fall. Actually, like I said I'm pretty much done now for the year. Following the advice I got here last fall I was told to get the N down early (which I have) then STOP. I could dig up the thread I'm sure but anyhow, I have my Scotts turf builder with crabgrass control in the shed ready to go probably middle of April and will depend on weather conditions. I think the directions call for no rain for three days after application, no mowing afterwords and do not apply just after a mowing, apply when grass is wet. So I look for my chance and try to plan ahead. :)

Defiantly won't be putting down no Nitrogen in late May like Chemlawn did me last year :hammerhead:

betmr
03-30-2009, 01:23 AM
And here's the soil test results.

I could be wrong, but the test appears to me(if you look at the bottom) that their recommendation is one half ton of lime per acre, 90 pounds of nitrogen per acre, and 40 pounds of phosphorus per acre. of course you have to do the math to work up the amounts you need to apply per 1000 sq. ft. 'cause I don't think your a farm, and you need to know that those 3 numbers on the bag are percentage of weight. for instance the 10-10-10 is 10 percent of each nutrient. So in a 50 lb. bag you have 5 lb. N (for Nitrogen), 5 lb. P (for Phosphorus) & 5 lb. K (for Potassium) The main ingredient you want is your N So you find what Fert. is going to give you the right pounds of N per 1000 sq. and has the other 2 numbers close to your target numbers. And that is you answer. All this other stuff about compost is good info, but I think your real question is about fertility & ph. Your soil does appear to me to be slightly acid for your grass, that is why they recommend 90 lb. of lime per acre, you need nitrogen & phosphorus, you do not need potassium (few places do). It is very late hear, or I would try to work this out for you.

I'm glad to see you did the one thing that not many do, Get the soil tested. Above are your guidelines try to work it out, but according to your soil test, your lawn is a little off on ph, & lacking in 2 essential nutrients.

I hope this was a help.

betmr
03-30-2009, 03:29 AM
That is a bunch of hogwash (barring pH dependent CEC) and damage is relative. Is the damage permanent, probably not. Just don't use anymore lime.

It may be true that adding lime will help the uptake of nutrients is, as you said Hogwash, But that depends on what the ph was BEFORE you add lime, The same can be said of Ammonium Sulfate (know what that is?) It's not the ingredient, it's the ph that is going to assist in the uptake of nutrients. As far as the lime he states he put down, his soil test clearly shows he needs lime, for optimal growth, that is the key word Optimal, this ph is 6.2 Optimal is 6.8-7. So let's see the lab recomends 1000 lb. per acre sounds to me like he didn't hurt anything by adding 150 lb. to his yard, probably needs more but I don't have time to work that out right now.

And stop giving a bunch of horse hockey, about compost, compost, compost. Sure compost is an excellent soil amendment, but is not that good of a fertilizer. Yes it will add some nitrogen, but I wouldn't depend on it alone. And let's look at the numbers again. Whoever at the Fertilizer store sold him 10-10-10 gave him just what most of the guys who don't have a clue how to build a soil, put down every year(the guy should be flippin' burgers at wally world) the basic formula of his fertilizer should be 9-4-0 or I'll bet it is more affable as 18-8-0.

Don't downplay the importance of soil ph, there are lots of people that have put down lime every year, because it is "The thing to do" only to make the soil so alkaline, that there is plenty of Nitrogen there, but the plants can't absorb it. And then scratch their head and wonder, what could be wrong? So they think, must be a disease, or for sure there isn't enough ORGANIC matter in the soil, well let's see, the soil test says I need more????LIME???? or maybe it says I need some???Ammonium Nitrate???? 6.8 -7 that's the target number.

That's my word....It all starts with the soil.....Good nite.

Kiril
03-30-2009, 09:54 AM
It may be true that adding lime will help the uptake of nutrients is, as you said Hogwash, But that depends on what the ph was BEFORE you add lime, The same can be said of Ammonium Sulfate (know what that is?) It's not the ingredient, it's the ph that is going to assist in the uptake of nutrients.

pH (generally) has nothing to do with plant nutrient uptake.
What is does have something to do with is nutrient availability.

As far as the lime he states he put down, his soil test clearly shows he needs lime, for optimal growth, that is the key word Optimal, this ph is 6.2 Optimal is 6.8-7.

How do you figure? 6.2 is a perfectly acceptable soil pH. There is absolutely NO good reason to lime at that pH especially given the other test results. Perhaps you should look into how high calcium and magnesium levels might affect soil fertility.

And stop giving a bunch of horse hockey, about compost, compost, compost. Sure compost is an excellent soil amendment, but is not that good of a fertilizer.

Really now.

What do you suppose organic matter is made up of ...... yes .... minerals.

What do you suppose happens when microbes break down a mineral soil (biological weathering) .... yes .... a release of minerals.

What do you think supports microbial life .... yes .... organic matter.

What do you think happens when organic matter is decomposed ..... yes .... a release of minerals.

What do you think happens to soil fertility when soil organic matter is raised ..... yes ..... it is increased.

What happens to soils pH buffering capacity when organic matter is added ..... yes .... it is increased.



I could go on and on here dude.
No offense, but I don't think you really understand soil processes nor the importance of SOM in a healthy soil.

Yes it will add some nitrogen

Actually, a properly finished compost will add very little nitrogen.

And let's look at the numbers again. Whoever at the Fertilizer store sold him 10-10-10 gave him just what most of the guys who don't have a clue how to build a soil, put down every year(the guy should be flippin' burgers at wally world) the basic formula of his fertilizer should be 9-4-0 or I'll bet it is more affable as 18-8-0..

IMO there is no need for P or K. The dude at the store should have sold him nitrogen only.

Don't downplay the importance of soil ph, there are lots of people that have put down lime every year, because it is "The thing to do" only to make the soil so alkaline, that there is plenty of Nitrogen there, but the plants can't absorb it.

Yet you insist lime is needed. And what type of lime should he be using based on the test results?

Also, please demonstrate understanding.... explain how high pH limits nitrogen availability.

And then scratch their head and wonder, what could be wrong? So they think, must be a disease, or for sure there isn't enough ORGANIC matter in the soil, well let's see, the soil test says I need more????LIME???? or maybe it says I need some???Ammonium Nitrate???? 6.8 -7 that's the target number.

The soil test recommendation are general at best, and are typically tailored for agriculture (not turf or landscapes). They do NOT consider site conditions, management & cultural practices, plant types, etc.... They are a generic recommendation, nothing more, nothing less.

In short, lab recommendations should NOT be blindly followed, and any experienced, responsible land manager knows this.

BTW, if you want to play the pH & mineral availability game, look at the standard chart and tell me what the "optimal" 1 unit range for pH is.

http://www.terragis.bees.unsw.edu.au/terraGIS_soil/images/soil_prop_chemistry_pH.jpg

kirk1701
03-30-2009, 12:16 PM
GUYS GUYS
Stop the barking over the soil test it's a mute point anyhow, like I said the test is from last Sept so I've put down lime once on the entire yard and three more times in this area since then plus the winterriser, a nitrogen application and a Scotts turf builder application so I'm sure it has changed.

I'll get a new soil test and go from there.

Or, should I wait, see if the problem starts up again which will be when it gets hot and dry probably July?

betmr
03-30-2009, 02:34 PM
I knew you weren't going to be happy with my post, now I'll break it down as you have, First one is easy, if nutrients are not availablebecause of poor ph, the plants can't uptake them. same idea, different word.

2)I never said 6.2 is "Perfectlyacceptable" 5.5 - 7.5 is acceptable for most grasses. I said, and it is true, that 6.8 - 7 is optimal (ideal) At 6.2 the soil test recommends 1/2 Ton of lime per acre, to bring the soil to Optimal ph for his needs, I always thought we were striveing for optimal conditions, that's what the test is for. Cal. & Mag. look Ok in this test.

3) Shale, Coal, Diamonds, Rocks= Minerals

4) You said this one yourself, so why do you keep saying that no Fert. is needed? It says so on the test!

5) It clearly states on the test,he needs 40 lb. an acre of phosphorus, 0 potassium. An 18-8-0 fertilizer is clearly warranted here.

6) I say it's needed because the test results indicate that. Limestone, it can be ground, pulverized, or pelleted. I prefer pelleted, as it goes down neater than pulverized, and works faster than granular

7) Geez, you are so off the mark, The test sheet clearly indicates, in the lower left hand corner..Crop/Lawn...So are we to think that a soil test labs doesn't know the difference between Grass and, say Soy Beans? And as far as that graph you posted, I don't understand your question.

Will you go in to a customer, and tell them, "forget this soil test report, that stuff is only for farmers, I'll eyeball your lawn, and tell you just what you need to improve your soil, throw that paper in the recycling, and I'll go get my divining rod.

Agriculture: The process of growing crops by cultivating the soil. Is Landscaping & turf care, not Agriculture? I wouldn't tell a Sod Farmer that. And I bet he pay Ag. property taxes.

And think of all the business soil testing labs get from the Landscaping industry, you think they don't know what they're talking about, Just because our CROPS are turf grasses?

I know I'll be hearing from you soon, Bye

Kiril
03-30-2009, 04:55 PM
I knew you weren't going to be happy with my post, now I'll break it down as you have, First one is easy, if nutrients are not availablebecause of poor ph, the plants can't uptake them. same idea, different word.

No, the words are not the same and are VASTLY different concepts.

2)I never said 6.2 is "Perfectlyacceptable" 5.5 - 7.5 is acceptable for most grasses. I said, and it is true, that 6.8 - 7 is optimal (ideal) At 6.2 the soil test recommends 1/2 Ton of lime per acre, to bring the soil to Optimal ph for his needs, I always thought we were striveing for optimal conditions, that's what the test is for. Cal. & Mag. look Ok in this test.

What are his needs?
Does the lab know his needs?
Does the soil have to be at a "optimal" pH?
What pH is "optimal" for his grass and his landscape plants?
What is the range of pH that KBG can be grown at?

3) Shale, Coal, Diamonds, Rocks= Minerals

I'm sorry, guess I shouldn't have dumbed it down. I should have been more specific and said the elements that make up minerals. Perhaps cations and anions? Should I list all the plant required nutrients and break those down into elements, then draw parallels back to the minerals they were derived from (with a few exceptions).

4) You said this one yourself, so why do you keep saying that no Fert. is needed? It says so on the test!

I said what myself? Learn to use the quote feature.

So let me get this clear, you just blindly follow what is recommended regardless of what is actually happening on the site or even if it is needed?

5) It clearly states on the test,he needs 40 lb. an acre of phosphorus, 0 potassium. An 18-8-0 fertilizer is clearly warranted here.

So tell me, how did they test for P?
You do know the type of test used can make all the difference in a P recommendation. Furthermore, where is the test for N? How does the test "clearly" indicate a need for N? They never tested for it did they!

6) I say it's needed because the test results indicate that. Limestone, it can be ground, pulverized, or pelleted. I prefer pelleted, as it goes down neater than pulverized, and works faster than granular

LOL ... this after your "lecture" on minerals.
What mineral type dude ... dolomitic or calcitic, and yes they are both classified as a "mineral" per your definition.

Which of the two, given the test results is called for IF there was truly a need? Clearly given the above you do not know.

7) Geez, you are so off the mark, The test sheet clearly indicates, in the lower left hand corner..Crop/Lawn.

So are you saying all types of grass have the same fertilizer requirements?

So are we to think that a soil test labs doesn't know the difference between Grass and, say Soy Beans?

That is EXACTLY what I am saying. The tests performed are not "crop" specific, they were GENERAL soil tests and GENERAL recommendations were handed out.

Since you seemed to be so clued in here ...

- What type of grass is the guy growing?
- What are the nutrient needs of that particular grass in lbs/acre using the soil test results?
- What are their nutrient needs of the TREES that share the same area?
- What effect will growth rate, water availability, soil temperature, soil structure, EC, SAR, etc, etc, etc, have on nutrient availability and needs?

Or how about for the lab recommendations?

- Does the lab know he irrigates?
- Does the lab know if he mulches his clippings and leaves?
- Does the lab know if there is any other type of nutrient inputs into the system such as compost or irrigation?

You really need to get a clue here dude.

And as far as that graph you posted, I don't understand your question.

Pretty straight forward question. What 1 unit pH range is "ideal".

Will you go in to a customer, and tell them, "forget this soil test report, that stuff is only for farmers, I'll eyeball your lawn, and tell you just what you need to improve your soil, throw that paper in the recycling, and I'll go get my divining rod.

Do you not understand the difference between test results and recommendations?

Given I am the one pulling the soil samples and having them tested, that would be a resounding YES! Why is that? Because that is my job homeboy ... sustainable land and water management. People hire me to tell them how to manage their soil and water resources .... what do you do?

Agriculture: The process of growing crops by cultivating the soil. Is Landscaping & turf care, not Agriculture? I wouldn't tell a Sod Farmer that. And I bet he pay Ag. property taxes.

Agriculture is about maximizing yield ..... landscapes is about maximizing aesthetic appeal. The two are NOT synonymous nor should they be treated as such. There are some parallels, but you need to be careful when drawing them.

And think of all the business soil testing labs get from the Landscaping industry

In comparison .... probably not much at all.

BTW, thanks for avoiding all the questions I put forth. Perhaps you will do better next time around?