Who is the Dirt Doc. on here?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Maintenance Man, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. Maintenance Man

    Maintenance Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I am wanting to grow my lawn program the right way and was wondering who can tell me what things I need to know if I do soil samples and where the different minerals should be. Lots of info would be helpful. Nebraska
     
  2. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    i don't understand the question. where the minerals should be? as in, what amounts?

    In my opinion, the three most important parts of a soil test are the Phosphorous levels, the potassium levels and the pH.

    Adequate levels of P is probably about 60 to 80 ppm.
    Adequate levels of K is 120 to 510 ppm.
    pH 6.0-6.9.

    These are obviously broad ranges, but it was the quickest i could pull off the internet. I always think <250ppm K is probably low.
     
  3. Maintenance Man

    Maintenance Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Yea thats what I was looking for, are there any other nutrients that a person should look for or test for. Mabey with regards to other plants like trees, shrubs, roses, ect.

    Also do you know of any books that could shed some light on this. Just want to get it right and know what I am talking about when I talk to the customers.
     
  4. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,861

    Easiest way is to find out what competitors are using. Soil samples are usually a waste of time. Also check with LESCO & other vendors as to what they are selling. It's usually best to keep things simple, but if you want scientific data, University of Nebraska is a fine source.
     
  5. Maintenance Man

    Maintenance Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Thanks for the help! Neighbor-looks like you arn't toooo far away!
     
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,861

    M M ........I'm just a couple hours away on I-80. Got friends in your state. PM anytime you want. Larry, Des Moines.
     
  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Soil tests are area specific - meaning different soils in different parts of the country require different amendments.
    Once you learn how to properly read the soil test report for your given area, host turf, etc - it will clearly explain what is necessary.
    I would recommend speaking with your local extension office for further information specific to your operational area.
     
  8. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    Unless you're groundskeeper for one property, you shouldn't bother with that kind of detail. As bad as it sounds, you have to take a general approach. You can't please ALL the people ALL the time... so just find a solid business practice that will please MOST of the people ALL of the time...

    Then, later on down the road, if you really want the headache, you can soil test and problem-solve on troubled areas...
     
  9. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    I completely disagree with this advice. In my state, it is against the law not to have a soil test on record for every customer. stupid, but true, unless they have changed the law, again.

    I agree that a general approach is probably necassary, but you may find a few properties way out of whack. In those instances a general approach just won't cut it. If a certain customer is low in P, say, "Mr. Jones, your soil test results show that you have a P deficiency, and I believe we better make an extra application to bump those levels up so that your grass is better able to take up the nutrients that it needs."

    Guess what, you sound like you know what you are doing, the customer believes that you generally care about them, which you do, you really do help the health of the soil and therefore the grass, and you get to make an extra application. Everybody wins.
     
  10. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214


    Wow. I can't imagine spending that much time on one yard, unless it's significant. Profit margins being what they are, I think your state screwed you. LOL.

    You're right, of course. But I'm not actually in this simply to make the world a greener place. That's just one of the perks of MAKING A LIVING.

    Soil sample for every lawn? Yikes!
     

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