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ethany
03-28-2010, 09:43 PM
I live in NJ and had my soil tested by Rutgers University. Here are my results:

Ph: 6.85
Phosphorous: 144 (All lbs/acre)
Potassium: 252
Magnesium: 210
Calcium: 2857

Micronutrients (parts per million)
Zinc: 10.66
Copper: 3.7
Manganese: 19.94
Boron: 1.22
Iron: 185.5

I am having a hard time getting in touch with my local extension office to explain my results to me and give a more detail plan on my lawn maintenance.

In your opinion what kind of fert. program should I use? I am assuming the Ph is within range.

Any help would be Appreciated.

tombo82685
03-28-2010, 09:54 PM
never had a soil test from rutgers, but psu, when they give the results they show how your phos and potass rank in terms of below normal normal or above normal. They then give you reccommended fertilizer apps.

RigglePLC
03-28-2010, 11:39 PM
Ethany,
PH is fine, Phos is very high, potash is high. You need mainly nitrogen. The best way to supply it is a nitrogen high in slow release. 50 percent slow release product... 4 times per year is about right.

Kiril
03-29-2010, 12:14 AM
I am having a hard time getting in touch with my local extension office to explain my results to me and give a more detail plan on my lawn maintenance.

http://njaes.rutgers.edu/soiltestinglab/results.asp

Note .... you do not need to maintain optimum levels of nutrients. These numbers are general approximations, and should be treated as such.

ethany
03-29-2010, 12:36 AM
I have. some 46-0-0 left over from last fall. Can I use that? Also when do you recommend I apply?

Kiril
03-29-2010, 12:49 AM
You need mainly nitrogen. The best way to supply it is a nitrogen high in slow release. 50 percent slow release product... 4 times per year is about right.

I am curious how you made this determination without knowing soil type and properties (ex. CEC), organic matter content, management practices, total soil N, etc.....

Ethany ... did you post all the information from the soil test, or just select parts?

ethany
03-29-2010, 01:25 AM
I posted all of the results. There recommendations was not to apply anything for Ph. They did mention to use 1-0-1 fert. How do those numbers correspond to a bag of commercial fertilizer you buy at the store?

They also said as far as the micronutrients go, they listed each one and stated "does not appear to be a limiting factor.

Kiril
03-29-2010, 01:35 AM
I posted all of the results. There recommendations was not to apply anything for Ph. They did mention to use 1-0-1 fert. How do those numbers correspond to a bag of commercial fertilizer you buy at the store?

The same as you see on the bag ..... N-P-K

As noted above, without more information about your site, soil, turf type, etc..., it is difficult, if not impossible, to give anything close to a good recommendation. The soil test shows you are doing pretty good with most of your major nutrients (Mg outstanding), but there are no other tests or information provided to give an informed recommendation. If you feel you need to stay with synthetic ferts, then riggle's recommendation to use a slow release source of N is spot on. That said, how much and how often simple cannot be determined with the information provided.

topsites
03-29-2010, 08:00 AM
Is there something wrong with the lawn?

If not, leave it alone.

ethany
03-29-2010, 10:35 AM
The site is partial sun (early morning) and the grass is 90% tttf, remainder is KBG and rye blend. The lawn was renovated last fall, total renovation, it was recommended by a local landscaper because it was being taken over by weeds and a lot of undesirable grass.

The soil type is mostly clay and it does not drain very well. It's the front lawn,about 5k sqft.

Kiril
03-29-2010, 11:15 AM
The site is partial sun (early morning) and the grass is 90% tttf, remainder is KBG and rye blend. The lawn was renovated last fall, total renovation, it was recommended by a local landscaper because it was being taken over by weeds and a lot of undesirable grass.

The soil type is mostly clay and it does not drain very well. It's the front lawn,about 5k sqft.

Assume your turf is 100% fescue. If you start a yearly over seeding (with TTTF or TTTF/bluegrass mix, skip the rye) and compost top dressing (probably in conjunction with aeration), most, if not all of your fertilizer needs will be met. You will also reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides over time with this approach as well as dramatically improve your soils physical characteristics.

Here are a few questions you should be able to answer before determining a proper management program.


Do you mulch mow?
How often does it get cut and what height is it maintained at?
Are there any other organic matter inputs?
Do you by any chance at least know the organic matter % of your soil? CEC?
What type of fertilizers have you used in the past and how much?
Do you irrigate and how often?
How efficient is your irrigation system (if you have one)?
Does your soil have compaction problems?
Does your lawn get aerated?
What is the exposure throughout the day (compass direction)? It sounds like you have trees that partially block early morning sun, but the rest of the day is what? Shading by buildings and structures?
Is there any slope to the area?
Are there any plants/trees that will be sharing resources (water, nutrients, light, etc...) with the turf?

ethany
03-29-2010, 07:43 PM
I mulch mow about 2 1/2", about once a week in the spring. The lawn was renovated last fall and top dressed with compost,I did not get the test for organic matter.

I do not have a irrigation system, so its gets watered when it rains. I know, I should water deep about 1" per week. I did aerate last aug-sept.

As far as compass position, its south east and we have a sycamore tree on lawn,with not much of a slope.

I am not going to pretend I know much about fertilizers, in the past I just used what was recommended by a local lesco dealer. I do not know what a slow release fertilizer is,or for that matter a fast release fertilizer.

I do have about 25 lb. left of last years lesco 19-0-0 with dimension, about 25 lb. leftover bag of reed and perine 20-4-10 and about 10 or so lb. bag of starter fertilizer.

So I am very green when it comes to lawn care.

ethany
03-29-2010, 07:46 PM
one more thing, I have some straight urea 46-0-0, I applied as a winterizer at the end of last fall.

RigglePLC
03-29-2010, 09:09 PM
Quick release nitrogen is urea--cheapest(with a high level of greening power per bag), but it can burn the grass and is too water soluble--after a few good rains it is gone. Use it again as your winterizer. Slow release or sulfer coated urea is more costly, but much better--gives a more gradual feeding and does not tend to contaminate the ground water. Average fertilizer will have about 25 percent slow release nitrogen. Fully coated 37-0-0 would be better, but if not, use a Lesco product that is high in slow release nitrogen.

SeedPro
03-29-2010, 09:57 PM
The soil type is mostly clay and it does not drain very well. It's the front lawn,about 5k sqft.

That's why your P and K are high. Sortof getting to what Kiril is going for here.

I knew you had clay soil when i saw those P and K numbers from experience.

Kiril
03-30-2010, 11:14 AM
I mulch mow about 2 1/2", about once a week in the spring. The lawn was renovated last fall and top dressed with compost,I did not get the test for organic matter.

Good. I would recommend raising the height to 3-3.5 inches in the summer. If you have areas that get shaded more than not, also raise the cut height. Keep doing your over seed and compost top dress every year in the fall. Prior to doing this, take another soil sample and get the level 2 test. Generally you should take soil samples at the same time of year. Make sure you sampling correctly.

I do not have a irrigation system, so its gets watered when it rains. I know, I should water deep about 1" per week. I did aerate last aug-sept.

Well, no irrigation system means you will have problems maintaining a good looking lawn in times of drought. If the lawn thins due to water deficit you also will have problems with weeds.

Also, forget about the 1" rule, it is inaccurate at best.

As far as compass position, its south east and we have a sycamore tree on lawn,with not much of a slope.

You will need to pay more attention to the area under the drip line of the sycamore and about 10-20 feet outside of it, especially with respect to water. How about plants/trees bordering the lawn?

I am not going to pretend I know much about fertilizers, in the past I just used what was recommended by a local lesco dealer. I do not know what a slow release fertilizer is,or for that matter a fast release fertilizer.

You need to find out what you have. Take a piece of paper and write down what is says on the label analysis and report back.

Kiril
03-30-2010, 11:19 AM
That's why your P and K are high. Sortof getting to what Kiril is going for here.

I knew you had clay soil when i saw those P and K numbers from experience.

High P and K doesn't necessarily mean a clay soil. In this case, high P and K is possibly due to poor fertility management (ex. too much/frequent apps. of starter fert is a good bet). A better judge of soil textural class without direct determination of it would be OM% and CEC.

ethany
03-30-2010, 05:24 PM
Thanks Kiril, I will get back to you with the fert. info asap.

The sycamore tree is in the corner of the property,along side the driveway, so its not dead center of the yard.

Directly in front of the house we have a few low growing shrubs and a weeping cherry tree that is about 7-8 years old and about 5' high and it spreads out around 4' or so.

I don't know if any of this helps but that's the basic layout of our front lawn.

Thanks again for detailed advice.

SeedPro
03-30-2010, 10:21 PM
High P and K doesn't necessarily mean a clay soil. In this case, high P and K is possibly due to poor fertility management (ex. too much/frequent apps. of starter fert is a good bet). A better judge of soil textural class without direct determination of it would be OM% and CEC.

I have to admit that Cation exchange capacity is over my head. I should know more about it, as I know it's important.

Care to give a common mans explanation or some basics? Perhaps another thread?

RigglePLC
03-30-2010, 10:46 PM
Kiril can explain cation exchange capacity better. Basically it is the ability to retain the positive fertility ions. Like potassium, amonium and calcium. It roughly corresponds with a soil's natural fertility. Sandy soil is low, clay soil is high, organic soil higher yet. Below 10 is low, above 15 is high. Only 7.8 at my house--very sandy.

Kiril
03-31-2010, 09:46 AM
Riggle pretty much covered it. Clay (generally) has both permanent and pH dependent charges, organic matter is pH dependent. pH dependent changes increase with increasing pH. There are various mechanisms that will bind anions, but generally it is assumed that anions are highly susceptible to leaching. CEC and organic matter content play a big part in determining proper fertilizing and pesticide practices, particularly if you choose the chemical route.

Here is an simple analogy on CEC I posted a while back.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showpost.php?p=2579619&postcount=17

Imagine a playground (soil) with 20 kids (solution ions), 5 of which are bullies. This playground has 10 swings (exchange sites).

Everyone wants a swing, however the bullies always get them first (selectivity). So we have 10 swings with 10 kids (exchangeable ions) using them.

Then a bus pulls up with 20 more bullies (fertilizer with irrigation), so now the 5 swings that could be used by the other kids get taken by the bullies (activity, concentration, selectivity). As a result, some of the kids leave the playground (leaching).

Then a trailer pulls up with 40 portable swings (organic matter addition). Now there are enough swings to go around for everyone (increased buffering capacity).

The above is an over simplification of a complex process, and doesn't take into account solubility, pH dependent charge and reactions, differences between cation and anion exchange, solvation, chelation, sieve action, etc... but you get the gist it.

SeedPro
03-31-2010, 07:34 PM
The above is an over simplification of a complex process, and doesn't take into account solubility, pH dependent charge and reactions, differences between cation and anion exchange, solvation, chelation, sieve action, etc... but you get the gist it.[/i][/indent]

I'm still confused.....but you reminded me of that kid that used to thump me in the back of the head in grade school.

Thanks!

lol

Kiril
04-04-2010, 11:13 AM
Continued from soil test results thread by ethany.

You asked for info on my fertilizer I left over from prior year. I have a bag of weed and feed, 28-0-4
.8% Ammoniacal nitrogen
27.2% urea nitrogen
polycoated urea-urea and potassium chloride,contains 5.7% slow available coated urea.

Would this fertilizer work for my needs?

Thanks for all your help.

ethany

Yes, that will be fine. Your previous years fert apps + compost + recycled clippings will probably supply over 50% of your turfs N need this year. So with that in mind, and with the information provided, which is still somewhat lacking, I would start with 1/2-1 lb of N per 1000 square feet (which is 1.79 - 3.57 lbs of your 28-0-4 or just go with 2 lbs/1000 of the 28-0-4 for simplicity sake).

Don't guess at your square footage. You should have a reasonable accurate measure of the area in order to know your application rate is accurate. If in fact you do have 5000 ft^2, then you will be applying 10 lbs total of the 28-0-4 for the entire area. Remember, these application rates only apply for the 28-0-4.

Make the application in the first couple of weeks of May, then again (same amount) when soil temps start to cool at the end of the summer (probably late August for you), assuming you will be doing a compost top dress again later in the fall.

Keep an eye on the lawn and see how it does. You want even growth and reasonable color without the need for high maintenance, which IMO is best achieved with organic sources of N. Only apply supplemental sources of nutrients when they are determined to be needed. Strive to get your lawn off synthetic ferts and more towards organic supplied nutrients and you and your lawn will be far happier in the long term.

ethany
04-04-2010, 11:20 PM
Thanks you, I have a lot to learn when it comes to fertilizing, especially when it comes to the math equations.

How often do I need soil tests? Also the only compost I can afford is the free stuff I get from the twp. where I live. Lots of leaves and brush.

I plan on overseeding again around last week of aug. how long after can I fertilize? this time I might go with alittle bit more kbg because the tttf is not filling in like the kbg. I had some limbs cut down from the sycamore tree last fall so I am getting more sun this year.

So far the lawn is a nice deep green but getting some hairy bittercress spread through out,hit it with ortho weed be gone max on sat. so I will mow for the first time on tuesday.

Thanks for all your help, this site is priceless.

Kiril
04-05-2010, 08:59 AM
How often do I need soil tests?

That depends on the state of your soil. Get the level 2 test this year and go from there. Once you establish a relative steady state with regard to your soil and inputs, you can do the soil testing every 2-3 years, or if the need arises.

Also the only compost I can afford is the free stuff I get from the twp. where I live. Lots of leaves and brush.

That is fine, as long as it is finished properly.

I plan on overseeding again around last week of aug. how long after can I fertilize?

I would fertilize a couple of weeks before you seed if you are using the 28-0-4.

this time I might go with alittle bit more kbg because the tttf is not filling in like the kbg.

Stick with the TTTF. It is a better all around turf than KBG.

So far the lawn is a nice deep green but getting some hairy bittercress spread through out,hit it with ortho weed be gone max on sat. so I will mow for the first time on tuesday.

Keep you herbicides to a minimum by only spot treating .... in other words, don't blanket spray unless absolutely necessary. Work towards getting your lawn as thick as possible with minimal, if any synthetic inputs and your turf will be relatively problem free.

ethany
04-05-2010, 11:23 AM
Thank you, Sir