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sulfer application

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by michael68, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. michael68

    michael68 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    I am still learning about the weed control/fertilization aspect of the business, so i have a bit of a delima. I had a soil sample test done by my local extension office.test came back with a ph level of 7.8, nitrogen-4, phosphorus-12, potassium-248. they said to apply a balanced fertilizer (10/20/10 or equivalent) at 10 lbs per 1000 square ft 4 times per year and to apply sulfer at 20 lbs per 1000 square ft in one application. they also said to re-test in 3 years. the sulfer application seemed to me to be a bit high so i called the local lesco dealer here and he agreed with me and said that average application rate was 2-3 lbs per 1000 square ft but not to go more than 6 lbs. i also thought that maybe the 20 lbs per 1000 sq ft rate might be spread out over the 3 years before the next re-test but the guy at my local extension office said "no. it will not hurt a thing". since i have conflicting reports i am not comfortable about doing anything with this yard until i have a definite answer. I would appreciate any information given. thank you all in advance! by the way, the turf is bermuda grass.
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    What is pH

    pH is the inverse logarithm of the hydrogen atom in a solution.===>Soil in water is measured for the amount of free hydrogen ions.

    The more hydrogen ions the lower the pH.==> acid
    The less hydrogen ions the higher the pH==> Base or Alkine

    My soil runs 8.5 to 9.5 pH therefore I use ammonium sulfate as my nitrogen source to help lower pH. This works two ways 1.) ammonium sulfate is 1.333 lb sulfur to 1 lb of nitrogen. Therefore for every pound of N I am putting down 1.333 lb of sulfur. 2.) ammonium is 1 part Nitrogen to 4 parts Hydrogen. Therefore for every atom of Nitrogen I put down I am putting down 4 atoms of Hydrogen. The Increase in hydrogen ions decreases pH .

    If my soil were 4 to 5 pH I would put down lime to raise pH. Here is how it works. Lime has hydrogen oxide or OH. OH joint with the free Hydrogen atoms to form HOH or water H2O. The decrease in Hydrogen ion increases pH.

    I hope my simple chemistry has helped you. I would just pound the yard 16-4-8 ammonium sulfate blend and forget the sulfur. Good Luck.
  3. michael68

    michael68 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    thanks ric for your help. it really helped me alot. it seems that the people i have been talking with will not give you a straight answer most of the time, for whatever reason they have. anyway i appreciate it alot.
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    If you are needing a good amount of special fertilizers, and have a hard time finding them bagged at Lesco, Home Depot, etc., try an agricultural supplier near you. Chances are that similar ammonium sulfate formulation is needed on farms in your area. They will have formulations in bulk, but will usually sell by the 100# in bags filled on the spot. Often will be cheaper, and usually makes it a lot easier to find.

    Just do not use the ag supplier for pesticides. Ag herbicides are cheaper than equivalent turf formulations, but are labelled for ag use. If you use these on turf, you're opening yourself up to heavy fines.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    Thank you Jim

    one more time you have improved on my post. I buy from a agriculitural supplier who also sells horticultural supplies. Agri fert will be dusty so be sure to use a dust mask when spreading there fert. I am more than willing to use a dust mask because of the saving.


    The reason for the run around is that soil is a very complex science and the so called experts don't know there tail from a hole in the ground. That is why it is important to get some education. I am proud of the fact that at age 61 I am still a college night student. Remember you are paid more for what you know than for what you do. good luck

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