View Full Version : Soil Analysis Help
09-20-2009, 09:44 AM
Customer and I agreed to get a soil analysis before I start treating his lawn. I usually just test for Ph but decided for the full analysis. I could go to my extension for help reading but find the experts are here. Any help interpreting the analysis and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Yes im licensed.
09-20-2009, 10:02 AM
I'm no expert by any means, but this is really easy. Analysis looks very good. Ph is a little acidic but the lime needed that is suggested by the low count and as recommended from the lab will raise it. Grass generally likes it a little lower than the mid-road 6.5. Just avoid fertilize with phosphorus; something like 1part Nitrogen to 1 part Potassium ie, 15-2-15. You could use a pellet lime, readily available at the box stores.
09-20-2009, 11:21 AM
No action really needed unless you want to adjust your Ca:Mg, in which case you need to use calcitic lime. The pH is acceptable IMO and OM% is relatively good.
Looks like there are some results missing? Where is the rest of the report?
09-20-2009, 11:52 AM
I agree with Raim. However why not use a zero phos fert, 24-0-11 or something. Phos is expensive, hard on the environment and seems not needed. I am surprized that Cornell seems to think that 14 pounds per acre is very high. But maybe they decided to reduce it for turf. Potassium also shows a minimum need--maybe you will not need it for a couple of years. Not much anyway. Potash is rather soluble--heavy rain or sprinkling leaches it out. Remember Dave, that slow release nitrogen mimics the natural decomposition of organic residue; it is better because it lasts longer, easier on the environment, and it does not leach (much). Maybe some of the new XCT poly-sulfer coat 37 percent fert would give you (and your customer) the most bang for the buck. Lime this fall after your fall fertilizer. I don't see the CEC (cation exchange capacity)--which is included with most soil tests. It is the ability to hold positive elements like potash against the force of leaching water. If you want the heavy-duty soil test--ask the lab about the " tissue test". They take green grass blades, burn them and determine the actual mineral content of the leaves including nitrogen. And compare it with known standard parts per million. Also checking more micronutrients. So if some soil mineral is not available, at toxic levels, or your nitrogen is low--it shows up. This test costs more, of course.
09-21-2009, 09:48 AM
Dave, nothing on the soil test shows a real need to deviate from the regular maintenance program that we've already talked about. The only thing you'd want to adjust for might be to use Solu-cal instead of traditional dolomitic lime in order to bring up your calcium levels.
One bag of solu-cal covers the same area as 4 bags of regular lime. So, maybe instead of using one bag of lime for every 1000 sq ft, use one bag of solu-cal for every 4000 sq ft. You'll find it actually even works out a little cheaper for you, too (bonus advantage).
Don't waste your money on high-K ferts like 15-2-15 until you take another test that shows that your potassium levels are getting low. This time of year, with the soil test results your showing us, something inexpensive like a 24-0-8 would be fine.
09-22-2009, 12:29 AM
thanks guys for the help, it sounds like the lawn is in decent shape
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