Soil test

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by trayz, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. trayz

    trayz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Received soil test and it states my ph as 4.8. I have high magnesium and calcium levels, and very high potassium levels. I have low phosphorous levels. I am growing centipede and st. augustine grass. My CEC is 4.6-9.0 cmolkg. I have just added 50lb lime/1ooosqft of diplomic ( all we have here). I plan on adding 3lb/1000sqft bonemeal in fall. I am worried about the high magnesium and calcium levels. Would like all ideas on how to reach the perfect soil.
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    I always thought that high calcium equals high ph. Or at least a higher ph. Bonemeal is supposed add the phosphorus, of course, and perhaps being organic would encourage the friendly fungus that makes it available.
    Being this far north I know nothing of your grasses, but will be interestted in theories about how correction may be made.
    How does the grass look?
     
  3. trayz

    trayz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    The grass is average, just not very aggressive. Had bad grey leaf spot this year but stopped it with cornmeal. I have not seen anything in my research with both high calcium and high magnesium; and low Ph. Would love ideas.
     
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

     
  5. trayz

    trayz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    The labs , Calcium H 1110, magnesium H 158, potassium VH 403, phosphorous L 15. Came from Auburn University.
     
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Well, first thing I would note is those numbers (other than phosphorus) don't jive with what is known about nutrient availability at a given pH. Based on the numbers I would expect the pH to be around 8 - 8.5, not 4.8.

    Did you have the soil tested before or after you limed?

    1731F02.gif
     
  7. trayz

    trayz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Had soil tested, then applied lime that was recommended (50lb/1000sqft). I plan on applying the bonemeal this fall. Then another 50lb/1000sqft of lime this spring. How can I reduce the mag. and calcium levels (if they are too high)? I had two samples done and both were similar(one for the Centipede and one for the St. Aug.). I used a six inch piece of PVC pipe to get the soil samples.
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Depending on the type of lime, you made the Ca/Mg problem, if there is one, worse not better. I would be tempted to let it sit over the winter and have the soil tested again before you lime to see how effective your fall treatments were.

    Also be very cautious with bone meal. Very easy to over apply.

    Also, if you can afford it and are interested, send samples to 2 different labs so you can compare the results. Naturally the samples need to be relatively identical for the comparison to have any real meaning.
     
  9. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    I'm currently enrolled in a soils class, so I'm trying to apply my reading.
    Would adding gypsum help? calcium is salt-like right? and one uses gypsum to changes the ionic exchange of salt in soil. Or do i need to check over my notes again?
     
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    What you said. :)
     

Share This Page