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Here's a Lesco soil test...let's talk and learn.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KirbysLawn, Aug 21, 2000.

  1. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    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.

  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    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!!
  3. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    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.
  4. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    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??
  5. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 442


    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.
  6. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    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!

  7. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    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.

  8. richard2

    richard2 Banned
    Posts: 101

    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!
  9. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    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:

  10. richard2

    richard2 Banned
    Posts: 101

    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.....

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