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soil testing

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by redclay, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. redclay

    redclay LawnSite Member
    from GA
    Posts: 28

    thumbing thru catalog and came across soil testing kits (used in nursery/greenhouses). has any one used these? are they accurate? thought they might be useful when customer wants fert./lime/other app. and doesn't want to wait for complete test to come back. anyone had any expeerience? thanks
  2. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 214

    The ones that I have tried (10 years ago) gave a very general result and I concluded they were not worth the time an effort. It is easier for me to just pull the samples and send them to the ag college for a good analysis at $10.00 per sample. The customer pays and is impressed with the nice print out they send back.
  3. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    I have an old home owner version of a test kit in my wharehouse. I am going to send a sample to CLC labs and use the homeowner version on the same soil to test the acuaracy. I'll post what the results are when I get them.
    Great question.
  4. Turf Troll

    Turf Troll LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I rather take the sample and drop it off @ $7.50 doing 50 to 100 a year it would be to much a hassel to do it my self and they(cooperative extension) provide a wider range of results.
  5. LonniesLawns

    LonniesLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from KS
    Posts: 317

    Doing your own soil test is nothing but a thumbnail sketch. How will you be able to determine base saturations to know if you should be using dolomit or calcitic lime from a field test? How cna you determine CEC and buffering capacity to judge amount of lime? I soil test every customer every year.

    The best lab I have found is ... http://turf.mdsharris.com/
  6. redclay

    redclay LawnSite Member
    from GA
    Posts: 28

    thanks for replies. I'm not looking to replace complete test for lawns. I also do erosion control/hydroseeding; thought it might be better than just guessing on what ground might need. We get the "ive got to have something done before it rains " calls more and more.
  7. LonniesLawns

    LonniesLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from KS
    Posts: 317

    Mds harris gives me next day turn around almost everyt ime. Priority mail a box of them for 4 or 5 bucks and I have a full the results in 3 days.

    To me -- if you aren't doing the soil test -- your better off not douing one at all. The others are too accurate and you ar emor elikely to hurt the soil than help it!

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