View Full Version : Soil test- what would you do?

05-31-2002, 09:46 PM
Just got a soil test back for a new sports field.

pH 7.7
Soluble salts 0.32
Sodium 29
Following are part per million
P 9
K 99
Mg 607
Ca 2936

The CEC is 20.1
%K 1.3
%Mg 25.1
%Ca 73
%Na 0.6
%H 0.0

The proposed turf for the above fields are 50% Bluegrass and 50% Pern Rye.

How would you correct the soils?

05-31-2002, 10:05 PM

turf installed yet or bare field?


05-31-2002, 10:27 PM
no turf yet.

05-31-2002, 11:14 PM

I know you have the answer Paul :) This is a test isn't it? lol

I really don't have much idea and rely on others for this.

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K) are the three nutrients plants extract from soil in greatest quantity. These are available in synthetic, organic, and mineral forms.

Im guessing that the ph is to high for this turf ...perhaps add sulpher to lower it.The sulfur products found in nurseries contain 90 percent elemental sulfur.... The bacteria in soil will oxidize the sulfur; it then combines with water to form sulfuric acid, which acidifies the soil. Because this process relies upon active soil bacteria, sulfur is best applied in spring or summer, when the bacteria are most active.

Please us know the correct way to read this.

06-01-2002, 02:43 AM
you have 18lbs per acre of phosphorus, thats under the recommended 50-75lbs of (P). add 32-57lbs of P to correct it.
you are 2lbs short of (K) per acre at the minimum. add 2-52 lbs of (K) to correct that.
you are in acceptable ranges for (M)
same for (Ca) acceptable again.

ok now for the soil ph, soil ph of 7.5 -8.2 rduces availability of iron zinc, manganese. ok i don't know what exactly the type of soil you have so i'll list all 3 soil types with how to correct them from 8.0 to 6.5 --- sand -120lbs of (S)per/1000; loam -150lbs(S) per/1000; clay -200lbs(S) per/1000
7.5 to 6.5 ---sand -50lbs(S) per/1000; loam 80lbs(S) per/1000; clay 100lbs(S) per/1000
do not plant the grass before applying the sulfer, the sulfur will kill the grass.
the salts index sounds good i think not sure on this one as long as the salt index is below i think 600 it is good or 1000 its one of those 2.

hopefully i'm right with this one.

06-01-2002, 10:09 AM
Joshua and paul,
As the ever present knowledge junky, where would I go to get this info if I needed it? What text or publication gives good basic answers? That said would a dose of gypsum be in line for this also to neutralize some of the salts?

06-01-2002, 03:27 PM
SCL - if you're willing to do the reading, Turf Grass Trends is a good publication to subscribe to.

To answer the above question Paul... I'd have to do a little more reading myself. Interested to know what others think.

06-01-2002, 05:37 PM

is this to be a native soil sports field? What activities are planned for this field? What is the drainage of this field? How high is the water table in this area (will it create a drainage problem)? Will additional drainage work be performed before installation? What is the budget for installation? What is the schedule for the installation? When do they want the field operational? What is the budget for maintenance? Who will be maintaining this field? What is their experience? What is the soil type, structure & texture? Any other pertinent information that would be helpful before I open my mouth and show my ignorance?


06-01-2002, 06:06 PM
Lawnstudent, The soils are native, Location is Fox Valley area. 3 fields are soccer fields and one baseball field. Water table is not a problem. useage will be for the 2004 season. Budget :) lets say under $100K, but over $35K. 14 acres of turf. Drainage will be by crowned centerline. Maintance wil be done by the park District.

The CEC tells you alot about the soil texture.

06-01-2002, 07:14 PM
paul, come on you didn't tell me if i was right, it took me about 30mins to go through my notes from school and handouts to figure that information out.

scl, i know what i said from a arborculture class, but all turf classes at any college should teach that same info.

06-08-2002, 08:27 AM
And the correct answer is????

06-08-2002, 05:18 PM
Fox Valley area?!?

If you land this I'll have to stop on over and visit! Paul, e-mail me the project you're talking about.

BTW, I have native soil maps from Winnebago, Outagamie, Calumet and Brown counties, if that'd do you any good for this project (it likely will not).

For a good part of the Valley, the soils are heavy clay with some deposits of limestone.

06-08-2002, 05:51 PM

At 9 PPM your P is in very low range. KBG medium range for P is 21 -45 PPM. Since P is needed to establish turf/seed germination you need to ammend the soil with superphosphate or triple superphosphate. You will need to add at least 1lb of P or over 2lb. of triple superphosphate per M. K is not needed at establishment. Longer term you look OK on K.

pH is going to be a problem. From CEC you can see that Ca & Mg dominate the CE sites. You are going to need to adjust the pH. Add sulfur or your special soup. You will see a lot of pH buffering on this site and, therefore, it will be difficult to drop the pH.

A 20.1 CEC puts your soil type in the area of a loam. Compaction is a major problem for a native soil sports field. You may want to ammend the soil with additional organic matter, compost, or other man-made materials like "Turface" or polymer crystals. Drainage should not be a problem with a loam (if it is in fact a loam soil).

Like Stonehedge said, if you get the contract let us know. I would love to come over and meet you guys and check-out the site. In fact if you need help on this project let me know, I'm not far from the Fox valley.


06-08-2002, 08:22 PM
Jim your right in line :) only differance is we are adding sulfur and gyspum to lower the pH and the Mg. The gyspum (calcium sulfate) at 1000 lbs per acre should do the trick along with 250 lbs of sulfur. As far as using Super Phosphate, we will amend the P and K with 500 lbs of 9-24-24 per acre. I know we don't need K for Bluegrass but with 50% of the mix perennial rye we'll keep it in the mix. We are also adding 350 lbs per acre of Hou-Actinite per acre to increase the soil texture.

By the way we have the job.


06-09-2002, 02:30 PM
Congradulations Paul!

Where is the site? When I return from vacation next Saturday I'll dirve by. Good luck.


06-09-2002, 02:44 PM
What is "Hou-Actinite "?