View Full Version : Here's a Lesco soil test...let's talk and learn.

08-21-2000, 03:07 PM
I have been asked about the soil test that Lesco has and what the results look like. Here is a copy of a soil test I did prepairing for overseeding last year.

Here is the soil test:


What do ya'll see in the test?
What needs to be done?

Here is a photo of the lawn:


Let's discuss this and maybe we will all learn something new.

What kind of soil testing methods do you use and lets compare pricing. I use Lesco and charge $25.00 per test for current customers and $30.00 for non-customers.


08-21-2000, 04:18 PM
Ray, First of I know "0" about soil tests. I never knew they had recommended corrections to the soil, etc on them.

I can't wait to learn more (hopefully) from this thread.

I know you said what you charge to bring the sample to Lesco, etc, but how much do they charge?

Thanks, can't wait for the lesson!

These are the great posts that many people will be able to walk away from and said they really learned something!!

Good Idea Ray!!

08-21-2000, 05:18 PM
Lesco charges $10 for the test. For this lawn I would Round it up if it was more than 25% weeds, since it was just cut and is shady I can't tell if it is covered in weeds. Next drop 50 lbs per 1000 sq ft of lime on that super low pH soil. Apply fertilizer with no Phospherous and something with micronutrients. Now till that sucker until your arms feel like Jello. Next rake the soil until it is level. Put down seed at 9-11 lbs per 1000. Use a screen to work seed into the soil. Tell customer to water very lightly 2-3 times a day and in 14 days watch the grass pop up. Also repeat lime application until you have reach recommended amount. But you can only apply 50 lbs every 6 months or so.

08-21-2000, 05:31 PM
What do you mean about the screen? Never used that method before, you mean you drag it like you would a fence on a baseball diamond??

08-21-2000, 05:41 PM

Here in Connecticut, the State has an Agricultural Experiment Station. They provide FREE soil testing for anyone - homeowners, condos, landscapers, etc. We drop the sample (about a coffee cup full for each test) off at the station, and via mail, the test will return soil pH, soil composition, amount of nutrients present, and a short summary of recommendations based upon the findings. For lawns, you can provide composite samples (that is samples from various areas within the sample area) from even the Front, Back, LS, and RS - separately. This is great, especially for large lawns (50,000 square feet) which may have different requirements front and back (this has happened to us a couple of times).

In addition, you may define what crop you are trying to grow, in order to receive the proper instructions.

If you are in the New Haven, CT area, go to their Huntington Street office/lab.

08-21-2000, 05:47 PM
Okay, this is my last question, cause hopefully Ray or one of the other guys that know more than I do about this can give a total lesson on the subject.

Is there anything special you have to do with the sample after you pull it?? Seal it or cover it a certain way? How deep do you have to plug it??

Thanks guys!

08-22-2000, 12:30 AM
Barkely wins! The lawn has no weeds so that was not a problem, pH very low and since you can't apply 160 pounds per 1000 at one time it would be applied in 3 applications of 50 pounds each. A lawn like this fairs poorly around here if it is just aerated, each year I refuse to do lawns in this condition if they are not aeravated or tilled up. A lawn this thin that receives aeration usually grows grass in a pattern similar to the pattern on the aerator, this causes thin grass that looks like a "hair club for men" lawn growing grass in plugs. This leads to complaining next year therefore I will not do them.

As Barkely said, and it's key, the seed must be distributed or raked to help avoid the pattern look if possible and even the soil if it's tilled. I usually seed a lawn like this by applying 3-4 pounds per 1000 prior to aeravation and another 3-4 after. Seeding at >8 pounds per 1000 can cause disease problems next year if the grass gets that thick, again that's around here.

Guido, Lesco charges me $8.90 for the test bag, I take samples and mail them to the lab, Lesco calls me with the results, I either pick them up then or they fax them to me. Money savings tip! Mail the samples in a priority package at the post office if you have more than one!!! If mailed separately it cost about $3 each, but you can put 4-5 in a priority package for $3.20! I take a shovel and "flip" back the turf, the sample is taken about 3" below the surface and needs to be a cup or more.


08-22-2000, 12:31 AM
mineral chelation and bacteria counts are also not in this test...also where are humic acid levels? testing for n,p,k is just another way for the oil companys to sell you more petro chem....ph is a must...mineral chelation is a big must your soil can have iron in it but if it is a rusted yugo your plants can't pull it up......don't believe this test-----all it says is add more lesco...also in seattle we don't have lesco so i'm not bias...i guess lesco is a flatlander thing....out west our soils are fully mineral (rock) you can test for boo-coo iron and the plants will lack it----why? it is locked up in rock....fulvic acids "eat" rock and their waste is what plants feed on...in laymans terms....also- i would not follow any oil companys guide to n levels...they want you to buy lots of urea and then gas to mow your foot tall lawn.....think about it.........also anyone intrested in the "jibberish" i am talking can get their own humic acids and see for themselves at http://www.humic.com.........i would also encourage everyone to think about sustainable ag.....without it the planet will die!

08-22-2000, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by richard2
don't believe this test-----all it says is add more lesco

Richard, not sure the total meaning of your post, but, if you look at the test at the bottom under "lime" you will note LBS/M 160, that's the rate for dolomitic lime. That's the "cheap" lime, Lesco does not carry dolometic lime and I went to Home Depot and picked it up, no $$$ to Lesco and they didn't seem to mind. What are your suggestions for testing the soil? We all want to learn so please share. Oh, after following the test recommendations here's the lawn so I wouldn't totally ignore it:


08-22-2000, 02:33 AM
that lawn might look good now....but you are gonna need fungicide in fall because you are on a n program......cells are stretched thin....fungi penetrate thin membrane....low n programs grow SMALLER BUT THICKER cell membranes......tougher.....in the rainforest (where i live..seattle),,,,in the rainforest anything that isn't growing upright is being broken down into soil by fungi..it's dying.......good soil..living soil grows healthy plants...balance bacteria and fungi and grow LIVING soil.....salts in urea add up....fall is a great time to feed soil and switch to sustainable ag......try humates at home and see before going commercial.....you'll see.....

08-22-2000, 02:55 AM
Richard, my apologies but I had asked for an alternative since you said "don't believe the soil test", I still ask, how should you test the soil to get a baseline idea about the condition of the soil if you do not test?

08-22-2000, 08:42 AM
Our Lesco dealer charges $8.90 for the test while I charge the customer $19.95. I also use Lesco's plug puller which is dandy for obtaining soil samples at the correct depth of about 3".

Since the middle of July, I have sold 10 soil tests and also sold 10 fertilization contracts for two application for the reaminder of this year, and 5 application next year. Soil testing is a must for any lawn manager.

08-22-2000, 06:29 PM
Kirby NC State soil test is free. There web site has
has the results posted there and they send a hard copy to the name it was shipped in from.


They do a real good job. During the spring when all farmers are testing it can get out to three weeks.

08-22-2000, 10:34 PM
First off, I am the daddy at lawn reno's. Second, the screen just works the seed into the soil so you get better seed/soil contact. A lot of folks around here think if you aerate your lawn once a year you should have a great looking lawn. Sorry but aerating once and then neglecting it will get you a big old crappy yard. Everytime you do a reno (and it turns out well) you should get the fert contract-that is a given. Don't let Chemlawn or Lawn Butcher make more $$$. Anyways, thanks for the contest Kirby-even though I am the only person who really answered. Are you and I the only ones who do lawn renos???? Maybe that's why some of you can only afford to eat nanner sandwiches.

08-22-2000, 11:43 PM
The extension office here sells the tests for $8 and I charge $20 to the customer. Most of the tests show pretty much the same results. Ph- low
P- Hi
K- lo or normal
Micro nutrients are shown in the parts per mil. count. I go a little further in depth 5-6" for a sample. I take about 10 per 1/4 acre.
Guido- nothing needs to be done to the soil after digging. Just wrap it up in the baggie they provide, tie in the pouch and mail it. I had about 12 samples to send off and I mailed everything off in a box for $4. If done separately it would have run 30-40 bucks.

08-23-2000, 12:42 AM
Barkely, don't you want to know what you won? 244 hits and only one recommendation, I was thinking the same thing. Yep, my high day last year was $2700.00 on a Saturday, I hope to top that this year, very good money.

Here's a copy of the back of the soil test.


[Edited by KirbysLawn on 08-24-2000 at 01:34 AM]

08-23-2000, 02:36 PM
Hey Kirbi I know your a pro and all, making all the money! I just dont know if being able to read recommendations on the back of the form takes all that much skill. Being able to dig up a cup of dirt is pretty difficult though

08-23-2000, 02:38 PM
check out http://www.humic.com

08-23-2000, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by bucktail
Hey Kirbi I know your a pro and all, making all the money! I just dont know if being able to read recommendations on the back of the form takes all that much skill. Being able to dig up a cup of dirt is pretty difficult though Bucktail, what are you saying? Please be more direct. I posted this for educational purposes, I have had several emails asking me more questions about testing, so I think some folks learned a little. The reason some sent emails is so they would not be "bashed" here for asking a question some others would think to be "stupid". No, reading the test is not that hard, I posted the back so the ones who have never seen the test would be able to read it. I did this to benefit others, if that bothers you then sorry.

[Edited by KirbysLawn on 08-26-2000 at 02:02 AM]

Kent Lawns
08-23-2000, 08:39 PM
richard2 said low n made cell walls smaller but thicker- no so with most turf.

Reducing nitrogen will no make cell walls thicker in any way. It does prevent the cells from growing and therefore more cells wall tissue in a given area.

This soil test makes no N recommendation other than 3.5 - 4.5 lb/M/yr. That is a generic amount based on the maint. level being medium.

Most all fertilizers will have K as a macro nutient. Postassium WILL build cell walls and combined with nitrogen will produce lush, healthy growth.

Pathologists agree, maintaining a healthy fertility program is one of the best ways to prevent disease.

I understand you're trying to bring in all the factors of the ecosystem into the turf's health, but to recommend depriving grass of it's most basic food - nitrogen - is fatuous.

08-24-2000, 11:07 AM
Kirbi, did not mean to say that providing people with information was a bad thing it just seemed to me that you and barclay were a little to smug about your vast experience. I know you know whats up and it shows in your pictures ect.. I guess I am fortunate in the fact that doing a soil analysis is really easy for me heres how: My man at Lesco takes my dirt when I receive my results I talk to him about it and he gives me a play by play(Allways on the money) So for those of us who dont have a degree in biology YES it can be that easy. Either way your right you are helping a lot of people and I probably jumped the gun on this had a hard day lost my best man RAIN and was looking for an outlet to vent. My Apologies.

08-24-2000, 03:50 PM
Bucktail, no problem I just don't see how we were being smug about our vast experience, I don't think I mentioned any. As for "Barclay" as you say, he is the only one that took the time to really give information on how to treat the problem at hand. For some out there that may be valuable information.

I had hoped to give the boards some questions that would make us think, compare, and learn, I asked the questions so we could educate each other. I think we need to start asking other questions besides what mowers are best, how do we sharpen blades (sorry TJLC nothing personal), and who's a scrub this week. I would like to see more challanging problems.

Unfortunately, when I post questions or problems like this, I always get questions sent to me by email instead of them being posted on this board, why? Because there is so much bashing when someone ask a question that others think is "dumb", and "they should know that already". The problem is, this isolates me to answer the question (or try) instead or the board as a group, it also leaves the answer hidden from others that may have the same question but don't want to ask. I've had the privilege of speaking to a few members on the phone about lawn care, renovations, and soil testing. Heck, I've even been accused of asking these questions because I don't know the answer and need the advice so I can make a bid or solve a problem! If that's what some think, oh well. I may need advice, if so I ask directly, like when I was bidding on the church, I asked "I need help please!"

I think I'll quit asking these questions for a while, that will leave more time for us to discuss other more relevant topics to the industry like urinating, scrubs, dog crap, stupid customers, and MTD mowers. Sorry Bucktail, I'm not venting at you, just a good opportunity to get this off my mind. BTW, please feel free to still email me, I don't mind at all, I just wish some of those questions were out for all to see.


08-24-2000, 07:21 PM
Kirbi I'm with you, The constant posts on equipement,scrubs,and crap does get old. I like a little fun from time to time (Keep up the good work Scag) However any discussion on pricing or the business aspect of this game helps tremendously!

little green guy
08-24-2000, 08:19 PM
I always learn alot when i read Kirby's posts. I don't kmow all that much about soil testing so I won't post about it. But mabey now i will. I agree with you about the stupid posts, although it is funny read some of them(scag48) but this is what this forum is realy ment for. I'm realy getting sick of reading about some if that stuff Anyway Keep up the good work Kirby, thanks for educating me!

PS- when are those bids coming out Kirby?

08-25-2000, 09:37 AM
LGG, thanks. As for the bids, it's really been slow so far so I assume there is no interest. I have 4 bids I think, so unless I get more I not going to make a spreadsheet. I did find it interesting on the last one that soil testing varied between $10.00 and $50.00 and would like to have had folks tell what type and how much here on this thread.

Stone, fire away if you have a question or comment.

08-25-2000, 11:09 PM
Stone, you state the only thing you check before hand is the pH, do you do anything after or is that it?

What would you do, are you saying apply a massive amount of starter for the pH? It was unclear, and why would you be applying massive amounts of starter?

[Edited by KirbysLawn on 08-26-2000 at 05:33 AM]

08-26-2000, 12:07 AM
low n means ya don't have to bag the stuff a mulch plug works fine...build soil and allow for microbial release....kirby someone said they saw you at some home depot lawn seminar...is that true?

08-26-2000, 02:22 AM
Originally posted by richard2
low n means ya don't have to bag the stuff a mulch plug works fine...build soil and allow for microbial release....kirby someone said they saw you at some home depot lawn seminar...is that true?

Of course Richard, that's where I take all my training. I understand high N = more grass, they taught that last night. I don't think I have mentioned here anywhere about adding N to the soil, have I? I have been talking about low pH levels and other defencies in the soil.

Mr. Stone now says "Your soil test is a complete waste of time". He says you only need to know the pH, you say ignore it all the way, which is it?

If Stone took his sample and the above lawn showed a pH of 6.3 then what? Stone please answer.

[Edited by KirbysLawn on 08-26-2000 at 05:45 AM]

08-26-2000, 03:01 AM
ph and only ph for short term mgmnt....ever grow green,tight,stickey,stinkey,bud with hydropontics? use urea and you grow grass like that....i still say lesco sucks....even though i don't know anything about them...i guess they are some flatlander (east coast) company...we got them here too out west....i bet they recycle toxic waste into kirby-lawn-food......ever wonder why your zinc is black? old tires....no sheet dude....you can get paid to spread that sheet so kids can walk barefoot over it....does your state have it's own label and ppm's with minors? i bet it doesn't...even if you live in ca. washington has the nation's toughest laws as to what can be recycled and max. apps per acre of minerals and waste derived minerals.....makes me wonder why lesco products aren't sold here why with the one of the nation's largest turfgrass ind. here and i bet you use oregon seed on your lesco enhanced "turf renes" also what's your favorite fungicide mix???? do you do multiples? i bet the lesco guy says...kirby or kent lawn buy product xxx with 55-0-16 it'll make your lawns the best....okay i'll take ten...sound fam??? oh yea, here you need some fungicide lots of brown patch out there....here's some pre em....so nothin', er i mean no weeds will grow!! shuffle on in buy the stuff that the smelter plant had nowhere to dump and said there's zinc in here (no chelation whatso ever) ther's zinc...so let's mix it in the 50-0-16 and sell it to kirby....KIRBY LIKES IT!!!!....make more..kirby spreads toxic waste thin over suburbia....in 30 years kirby's lawns don't look so good----nor do the kids who live in the houses kirby's lawns are attached to.....who wins...lesco,inc or whatever petro guru is callin the shots! think green your grandchildren would want you to! peace!

08-26-2000, 07:49 AM
Damn 6.3 Kirby RUN

08-26-2000, 08:12 AM
Lol, its all becoming clearer now.

08-26-2000, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by lawrence stone
Kirby wrote:

>If Stone took his sample and the above lawn showed a pH of 6.3 then what?

Then I would not be working in my local area.
I have never found a reading that high.

Stone, you do know normal soil pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5 don't you? 6.3 is considered slightly low, not "that high". What do you consider a normal ph? You still did not answer the question, what would you do, please teach us what you would do for what you call a high pH of 6.3.

Richard, you seem to be hung up on the high nitrogen stuff, and again I have not said a single thing about N, if so please advise. You do understand there are fertilizers that have very low nitrogen while containing Phosphorus, and if a lawn has a low Phosphate level we are able to apply just Phosphorus without N at all. And alternates such as bone meal applied at 20 pounds per 1000 also help with low Phosphate levels Phosphate. Why all the personal comments about me, I'm not the only one who uses lesco. A good fertilizer with a 1-3-1 ratio would fix the problem without a bunch of nitrogen.

Stone, if a soil test is not taken you have no idea if the soil is lacking in Potassium or Phosphate, both are needed to help the soil and grass. Here is a soil test, with Stones pH only test it shows everything is ok, but look at the P2O5 and K20 and you will so it is very, very low and this soil is crap.


Remember, when pH falls below 6.5, phosphorus begins to become unusable by plant roots. At 6.0 it is almost totally lost to the plant. In addition, Nitrogen, potassium, calcium and magnesium will decline in their effectiveness below 6.0. but not to the same extreme. As the test shows above, the pH is just a little low, maybe it was low (not sure just started on this lawn) and lime was applied, however other nutrents are low which must be addressed.

When pH levels climb above 6.5, iron and manganese begin to become locked up and unavailable; above 7.0 boron, copper and zinc begin their decline.

That's why it is so important to know what the levels of nutrients are available in the grass so that if adjustments are made to the soil, the grass won't become seriously affected. To be on the safe side it is generally recommended that most grasses stay in a range of 6.4 - 7.0 which is where the greatest degree of all nutrients combined. So again, what is your ideal pH Stone????

[Edited by KirbysLawn on 08-26-2000 at 08:34 PM]

08-26-2000, 03:06 PM
Kirbi as Iron Maiden would say Run for the hills Run for your life this thread is amusing so much hostility and nonsense I dont think it will ever end!

08-26-2000, 03:15 PM
Yea, but it's getting interesting now. Sometimes these guys really help me prove my point! :D

08-26-2000, 05:49 PM
Thanks for the reply Stone, so you would do nothing. Just as I said, the problem is not with the pH, it's with the Phosphate and Potassium levels, both of which you would have no idea about since a test would not be done. In other words, even though the pH is fine, the soil is in crappy condition and needs attention, a condition you would never know about with the pH test kit alone.

The owner of the lawn the test was taken from was concerned because it would green up after fertilizing, yet get lighter and start to look bad a few weeks later. The lawn still looks good, just very light green/yellowish looking. The pH test would be a waste of time here, not the problem. Applied a starter fertilizer and guess what? It's getting better, will apply the 2nd starter treatment at the end of the month and all levels should be normal.

steven Bousquet
08-26-2000, 07:25 PM
wow this is out of control.

Richard2 chill out. I am into organics too but i don't smash the non organics. sounds like you read alot. how many feet do you have on programs? we treat over 5 million ft per round. we been doing organics for years. mostly because it works and not because i am a tree hugger.

the soil test is a great thing and the proofs in the lawns improvement. why would a train soil guy be against soil test ? beats me. Ph only tells a small part of the soil, you need to look at ratios also cal should be to 7-1 , to mag. there are many ways to grow lawns and we each must choose a way. Scoots fertlizer grew sod on cement for 16 yrs to prove you don't need good soil to grow turf. not my choice but proved the point.

Kirby. thanks for bringing up a new topic, your on the right path. Stone always has interesting ideas that work for him, Richard2 if you want to share info about organics, recommend some of the book that you have read i am sure the guys would read them. "Hands on agronomy" by chalie waters is great. you convert more by teaching then preaching.

WE use a combo of orgaincs for the plants and soil and chemicals for the weeds and bugs, yeas we soil teat every lawn, and we get suprised some times. Its better to know it and not need it, than to need it and not know it.
Good luck and good growing.

08-26-2000, 07:31 PM
why was my last post erased?

Kent Lawns
08-26-2000, 07:33 PM
"I still say Lesco sucks...and I don't know anything about them."

That says it all.

55-0-16 fertilizer? You can't make it more than 46% nitrogen. (Must not know anything about fertilizer either.)

Need fungicides?

I've fertilized full-time for 12 years. Never sprayed an ounce of fungicide -- most fungi can be managed thru IPM and proper fertilization.

08-26-2000, 08:16 PM
So, lets take what we've learned. Mr. or Miss homeowner calls for a lawn guy to visit to look at their "problem" lawn:

Kirby drives up.....looks at it and say's not sure let's take a soil test ($25.00 please) and see what's wrong. A week later the results come back and shows the above problems, they are addressed and fixed. The lawn looks better and all are happy. I get referral work and charge a premium price because of the service I provide.

Stone drives up.....looks at the lawn and says "not sure, I'll check the pH", he does so and it shows a pH of 6.3. Stone then says what? Everything is "normal", Wow, I've never seen a pH that high! Has no clue what any other problems are (not saying you have no clue, just not all the facts), so I will not guess at the next step, I would assume tell them it's ok and drive off.

Richard2 drives up.....looks at the lawn and says "not sure, no soil test needed, lets put some hydropontics on it, that should do it". The outcome, I'm not sure not familiar with the product to state if it would address P205 and K20 problems, but I'm not going to condemn it either.

Stone, in the link you gave us above you did not copy the 2nd paragraph:


Do not apply lime routinely to established lawns unless a soil test indicates a need. Excess can be as harmful as deficiency. Established lawn soils seldom need to be limed unless a soil test indicates a moderately to severely acid soil of pH 5.5 or lower.

Where lime is needed, apply finely ground or specially pelletized agricultural limestone at rates up to 50 pounds per 1,000 square feet. If more is required, make separate applications about six months apart. Limestone can be applied almost any time, but fall or early winter is the best time.

If you wait on the pH to drop below 5.5 you will have to apply multiple lime applications to get it back to normal. If the pH is low address it then, don't wait on it to drop. Here is a chart for reference:

Soil pH Soil Type
Sand Loam Clay
6.0 20 lbs. 35 lbs. 50 lbs.
5.5 45 lbs. 75 lbs. 100 lbs.
5.0 65 lbs. 110 lbs. 150 lbs.
4.5 80 lbs. 150 lbs. 200 lbs.
4.0 100 lbs. 175 lbs. 230 lbs

If you don't get the point, I give up.

[Edited by KirbysLawn on 08-26-2000 at 11:19 PM]

08-26-2000, 11:05 PM
Stone, the 6.3 soil test is not for the lawn in the photo, that lawn has a pH of 4.6 as shown in the first test. The 6.3 is a lawn that is established and looks fairly good as I have described already, so it does not appear like the first.

I find it very hard to believe that someone could call himself a "soil scientist", but yet you state you have never seen a pH testing that was normal, or even at the 6.3 reading that we've been discussing.

Thanks for your replies but I'm tired of debating this, it's getting really redundant. I'm like Bill, things are much clearer for me also.

I'm just glad our Doctors don't test our blood when we're sick like some of us check our soil when it's sick, if so many of us would be dead!

[Edited by KirbysLawn on 08-27-2000 at 09:42 PM]

08-29-2000, 02:34 PM
Learn anything yet????? :confused: :eek: :mad: :confused: Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh bang!

08-29-2000, 02:47 PM
Man, I'm learning that this is a hectic post!! But yes, I am. I don't know $hit when it comes to this stuff, but I think Lesco is great because of my prior dealing with them, and I would prob. follow your methods. I had one account that wanted to use a certain organic fertilizer for a yer instead of my normal frills free 4 step plan and it went to $hit. Plus I'm definetly not a tree hugger so I don't really care abouth that point of view. Anyway, thanks for putting the time into this!!

09-04-2000, 09:17 PM
Found this link after looking at the link provided by Morturf in another thread. Very good information about soil testing and solving results.



09-04-2000, 09:53 PM
Yeah Kirby, seemed like good info, now I'll just have to go back when I'm sober so that I can understand it all. HE HE HE.....And by the way how did that dude get that funky looking camel head in one of his posts?????

Acute Cut
09-04-2000, 09:57 PM
as always Richard2 has to put in his 1/4 ounce worth. Stop bashing people who are trying to enlighten us clueless people. I WANT to know and learn more. I know nada. I am one of them "only mow and go" guys to date. Because i am lazy? naw. It is because i just dont know. I was a trimmer guy for another company down south and decided to try it myself up here to make some extra money. If you would pull that bong out of your ^&%&* then you might get a clue here and maybe jump onto this bandwagon of lawncare family we have here. You ALWAYS have to make comments that detract from the subject and then tell us how you love to smoke dope. I thought you were gonna sell you business anyways. Why are you here instead of out smoking all of your SOLD money away?

Kirby: Great post. Thanks from us little guys. I wish i had a clue about any of this stuff. It is like someone telling you about the inside of your comps, diodes, circuits, and so forth. I think i need to take my comp in again to have the oil changed. (attempt at humor)
I am gonna get a book on this stuff so i can decipher it later.

Stone: If i understood why you were dismissing everything Kirby said and putting down this post i might have something to say. BUt i dont so i wont.

Kirby: i would be interested in hearing someof them questions that were asked to you. So, if anyone has the (round objects inserted here) to ask in the open then please tell. I admit that i know nada so no one can bash my opinion on the original subject, but i will say that this is one of the most enlightening posts in a LONG time. I would love to get more of these types going.

We all know how to mow em nice and pretty, but how many of us know how to FIX em? Looks like 2-4 out of 200 something. Lots of hits, maybe you are on the right track! Gee knowleg gained above the WT level. Imagine that. WHo would have thought that we could actually talk about something more than peein in the bushes!

I am SOO STOKED on this new line of posts Kirby. Sure would be nice to mow NICE lawns instead of dandelion fields.


Posted by yours truely,
Acute Cut

Eric ELM
09-04-2000, 09:59 PM
That is an animated gif that is uploaded to a site and then linked to his post, like you do a picture.

09-05-2000, 12:18 AM
Acute Cut,

Thanks for the kind words, I was wondering if anyone out of the 1300+ members was going to speak up at all. I really like trying to bring up subjects that I found to be important during my continual learning process. However it seems, just as you pointed out, that this post had over 800 views and only 2-3 people helped me in supporting soil testing and I basically have to argue with asinine logic by myself to get he point across.

I now have to deal with Lawrence and Richard2 following my every post making smart a** comments about me going to Home Depot for training, my equipment, and such.

I keep trying to start these "educational" post but it always ends up an argument between me, Stone, and Richard2 or just their smart comments. How about some others kick in with support, help, more information, or whatever you wish to add to the discussion.

Stupid questions??, I've asked plenty, but I usually learn from them so please ask also. I surely don't have all the answers but there are many here much smarter than me that do! It's crap like I'm dealing with now (the Kirby vac post, the Home Depot comments), that keep others from asking good questions. People like that just bring the forum down.

I've got several more ideas to post but prefer not to deal with the headaches and solo arguments with the named above. Evidently topics like urination, blowing dirt in the street, cheap mowers on ebay bring more interest for them.

As for the soil testing, I hope to do 200 this fall. With a profit around $16.60 per test, that will bring $3300 profit over the next 2 months, not a bad add on tool! :)


[Edited by KirbysLawn on 09-05-2000 at 03:21 AM]

09-05-2000, 01:28 PM

I asked for input on soil testing and this was your advice:

Originally posted by lawrence stone
Ok but you asked for it.

Your soil test is a complete waste of time.

The only thing you need to test b/4 hand is pH which I
do at the initial site visit with a hand held meter.

To renovate this small lawn I would aerate 3 times then
use a power rake to prepare a seed bed. Use mass amounts of starter fertilizer correct pH if needed. Broadcast seed, rake, roll, apply tuperstan (sp) and penn mulch and water.

The problem is you like to make comments but you rarely follow-up when asked another question. My next question was: "Stone, you state the only thing you check before hand is the pH, do you do anything after or is that it? What would you do, are you saying apply a massive amount of starter for the pH? It was unclear, and why would you be applying massive amounts of starter?", as usual you never really answered the question.

Your next post was about the soil pH of 6.3:

Orginally posted by lawrence stone
Then I would not be working in my local area.
I have never found a reading that high.

Maybe you could be doing much more work in you area if the pH was that high, it's still .5 points below normal!

And your next post:

Orginally posted by lawrence stone
Since there is no turf growing a soil scientist (much like myself) already knows of these defiencies by simple appearence thus that's why I suggested MASS AMOUNTS OF STARTER FERTILIZER.

I ask again, how has a "soil scientist" such as yourself never seen a pH of 6.3? What do your soil test usually show?

The point of this post is to inform people who may not have the vast experience you have on how to problem solve a lawn and find an easy solution, lab soil testing does that. To suggest that we just look at a lawn, and "dump mass amounts of starter" is bad advice in my opinion, especially for someone that is new or inexperienced in this area. How do we learn your techniques if you do not tell? Until then I will stick to doing soil testing.

As for thin skinned, I really don't care if you wish to make remarks about my truck, trailer, or me, but it seems a little childish to continually dwell on it and to make remarks about it for over 3 months now, get over it. If my truck payments are $5000 that's not your problem.

I don't care if you drive an old truck, use old equipment, and stick your finger in the ground and lick it for soil testing if that is what you like. But when you are on the forum not everyone knows what you know, so give good logical, sound advice.


[Edited by KirbysLawn on 09-05-2000 at 04:57 PM]

09-06-2000, 01:33 PM
You provided a link on the first page to the University of Missouri, so I assume you think that is a valid resource. Here is what YOUR source says about soil pH, NOT LESCO:

Soil pH

Soil pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. A pH of 7.0 is neutral, less than 7.0 is acid, and greater than 7.0 is alkaline. Most of the essential plant nutrients are available at optimum levels between a pH of 6.0 and 7.0. Acidic soils (pH < 6.0) and alkaline soils (pH > 7.5) may require amendments that modify pH.
Soil pH below 6.0

If a soil pH is less than 6.0 (acidic), then a lime requirement will be calculated. Limestone is used to raise the pH of acid soils, resulting in greater availability of soil nutrients. Do not apply lime unless it is recommended. If lime is recommended, review the following guidelines before making the application.

Lime can burn grass. Do not apply more than 50 lb/1,000 ft2 per application on established lawns. Liming of established lawns should be done in the cool spring or fall following core aeration and watered in to help move the lime into the soil and increase the rate and efficacy of pH change.

The preferred time to add lime to the soil is at establishment (just before seeding) when levels higher than 50 lb/1,000 ft2 can be tilled into the soil, if needed.
Ground agricultural limestone (CaCO3) or ground dolomitic limestone [CaMg(CO3)2] are the preferred forms of lime for use on all turfgrass areas; hydrated lime (CaO) is less preferred on lawns because of its high burn potential.
Wood ashes from a home fireplace can also be used to increase soil pH. However, wood ashes are only about 40 percent as effective as limestone; a lime recommendation of 100 lb/1,000 ft2 would require 250 lb/1,000 ft2 of wood ashes. Exercise caution when using wood ashes because they can build up soil potassium to very high levels, which may cause an imbalance of soil nutrients. Soil pH from 6.0 to 7.5

The pH range between 6.0 and 7.5 is the optimum range for turfgrass. Thus, there is not a need for any amendments at this range.

Here is the link for reference if you don't believe me:

That is exactly what I've been saying all along and you provided the link that verifies it. And what about Soil Testing? Let's look at your link again, I quote:

Soil testing provides an estimate of the plant-available nutrient status of the soil and is an essential tool in a sound fertilization program. Periodic soil testing will help to correct nutrient deficiencies, avoid excess fertilizer applications and maintain a healthy lawn.

A routine soil fertility test (pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, organic matter, and cation exchange capacity) is recommended under the following circumstances:

Before establishing a new lawn, whether from seed, sod, or sprigs.
Every three years on established lawns (late summer).
Annually when attempting to correct a nutrient deficiency or change the soil pH.
When fertilizers containing phosphate or potash have been used on a regular basis for a number of years.

And another:

Liming and fertilizing. Apply the required amount of lime, phosphorus and potassium recommended on the soil test report for establishing a lawn.[/b]

How can you apply the recommended amounts if you have no test to recommend? Your source also teaches aganst apply a lot of P2O5 at one time, you may want to read it again.

So Stone, it looks like your source also recommends testing the soil for nutrient decencies also, not just pH. What's that? You apply starter in mass amounts just from how the lawn looks? Read what your source says above, "When fertilizers containing phosphate or potash have been used on a regular basis for a number of years" testing is recommend, that means you.

Sorry for the long post, the soil test has nothing to do with Lesco, it does not matter who does the test as long as you regularly test the lawn. Do your homework a little better before giving bad advice.


09-06-2000, 01:53 PM
Can't you just let this die Kirby? You are a Type A personality for sure. Arghhhhh! So what????? To each his own. There are more ways than one to skin a cat.

I must admit it is kinda fun watching you and Stone go at it...he types for 1 minute which makes you type a comeback for 20 minutes. LOL

09-06-2000, 02:13 PM
Yep, I planned on that being my last post on the subject. Sorry if it bothers you, just don't click on the post if it comes up again. :)


09-06-2000, 03:20 PM
Hey everyone seems to like this thread one or two people ask if there were any specail tools.I can across a mag. i have and it it chock full of soil test kits hey these things lok like a chemist lab boy could we look profesionl carry this unit onto a customers lawn..theses folks also have speacialty tools like and sped to trim around sprinklers to give that professional look.hey you can make one for the meter boxes faily simple.anyway its the ben meadows company and they seem to be very heavey in the golf course testing biss. and cater to course that do there own testing ...www.benmeadows.com. Hope thisgets you'all thinking. I like it ..i love it ...i want more of it...(info)

[Edited by BUSHMASTER on 09-10-2000 at 01:27 AM]

09-06-2000, 08:28 PM
The way Kirby is talking, I get the inpression that if the pH is off by a slight amount, grass will not grow. I have a stack of soil test reports on my desk that show low pH, some as low as 5. Those lawns have grass growing on them just fine. I'm not saying that they are golf course perfect, but they are a presentable lawn.

09-07-2000, 12:27 PM
Hey Kirby, if anything I bet this post has the most "reads" of all!

Acute Cut
09-07-2000, 06:57 PM
Most reads of all time? hmmm... Maybe that is saying something. Maybe many people are tired of the Exmark vs Dixie posts and the "should i buy something bigger than a murry" posts. That is all fine and dandy, and has helped many people. (Myself included)

It says to me that Kirby hit a veritable gold mine here. It looks like most everyone is very interested in learning REAL info. I am amazed at the vastness of this business. It is apparent to me (often) that people like Kirby and Eric (and many others) have a real grip on it. I WANT to learn more actual useful stuff. I hope that the many posts supporting Kirby's idea here have given inspiration to him and other "old timers" to post more great threads like this one.

In this latest post thread, i feel as i did when i first found lawnsite. Wasnt that a great feeling? Keep up the great work gents. (and ladies as it applies) Look forward to reading your next info packed threads!

Acute Cut

09-08-2000, 09:03 AM
Stone wrote:

>6.8 is normal pH? Who feed you that line?
Some washed up ex-landscaper who now works as a clerk at your beloved Lesco?

Stone, I would go into all the details but I'm really tired of wasting my time explaining things to you, read your own post. If you have any further to add please provide proof that 1) soil testing is bad, and 2) the ideal pH for soil is 5.0. I await your proof. I will be brief, you say soil testing is a waste of time, check you own link that you provided, it says different.

You say pH 5.0 is good, every link below says differently. I quote from one "For example when pH falls below 6.5, phosphorus begins to become unusable by plant roots. At 6.0 it is almost totally lost to the plant. In addition, Nitrogen, potassium, calcium and magnesium will decline in their effectiveness below 6.0. but not to the same extreme." Does your grass need phosphorus & potassium?

Yes, grass will grow at 5.0, but how healthy would it be? If your bodys pH was 5.0 you could live, but how healthy would you be? How long could you continue? How suseptable would you be to diseases?

jaclawn, never said that. If you read the subject test at the bottom of page one, the pH is 6.3, that was not the issue. The P and K levels are low and without soil testing how would you know? The test indicates that someone applied lime and raised the pH, but the other problems were not addressed. Stone was against doing testing therefore bad advice.

Please Stone, I've showed you in every way possible that both soil testing is a good tool and pH levels should be between 6.0-6.8. I already know you disagree for whatever reason, so be it.

Either you are right, or all of the universities and publications below are wrong!


[Edited by KirbysLawn on 09-08-2000 at 04:36 PM]

09-08-2000, 10:31 PM
How the heck do you have time to be a full-time EMT, run a LCO, and crawl around the Net gathering URLs trying to one-up Stone?

Something doesnt add up here.

09-08-2000, 11:14 PM
Bill, we have a computer at the station, so when not running calls I have time to play on the web. Sorta like getting paid to to be on Lawn Site. :D

09-09-2000, 02:55 PM
I forget how it can be. Once worked across from a firestation in the slow part of the city, the guys restored an old Dodge truck from the 30s in their spare time (they had lots of it).

09-10-2000, 02:47 AM
This was a good lesson in paralysis by analysis.

I tip my hat to the participants in this debate. You all mke LawnSite an informative place to visit.

09-10-2000, 09:29 PM
Acute Cut:

I think your nose just keeps getting browner as you go!

Yes this was a good post, thus my reason for posting that string!

Acute Cut
09-10-2000, 11:55 PM
Browner nose? Didn't Lincoln say that you can "attract more bees with a drop of honey than a whole bucket of gall."? I will/have only stated my honest opinion. I just want those who are generously provideing "useful" material to know that i appreciate it. And as you may have noticed, so have others. If i say "thank you" and so forth enough then maybe it will encourage them to continue on this knowledge venture and teach us little guys (Who only mow and go) how to be more professional and knowledgeable. Think of it as positive reinforcment. Like Pavlov but on a different scale. hehe.

Have a good one yall.
Acute Cut

09-15-2000, 09:47 PM
What happened to all of Stone's post?? :confused:

09-16-2000, 12:25 AM
He deleted them so anyone reading this thread for the first time would think you are nuts for replying to some of those voices in your head! ;)