Getting grass to grow on acidic grown

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Sti2.5ldohc, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Sti2.5ldohc

    Sti2.5ldohc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Hello,

    So we cleared out a wooded area for a customer. They would like to grow grass seed where there was previously brush. I did a soil test and the PH is 4.8. They recommend 100lb of crushed limestone per 1k sqft.
    My fert guy said tilling isn’t necessary and I can just use pelletized lime to grow grass. Ideally we like to apply the grass seed in March or April.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Wye Oak Tree

    Wye Oak Tree LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,954

    hort101 likes this.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,528

    That is a really low acid pH!
    I suggest double check the acid level and the "buffer pH". Did you use a home and garden test kit? Send to a lab? University?
    Do you need calcitic lime? Dolomitic? Do you have pictures of the soil?
    What is your location? Southeast soils are most likely to be acid. Soil pH is easier to neutralize with lime if the soil is sandy--takes more on clay soil. High temperature climate and heavy rainfall result in acid soil.
    Are you near a source of "acid rain"?
    What kind of grass did you have in mind? Centipede is supposed to be happy on acid soil. Sheep fescue, too.
    What color and texture is the soil? Low organic matter? Snow in my town--so you must be in a warm climate.
     
  4. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    I'd read everything RigglePLC and go step by step. I couldn't add anything to that. Except holy cow that is low pH... Except understand if ideal pH is say 6.8 for whatever turf grass you are wanting to plant, you are 100x more acidic than you need to be!
     
  5. Sti2.5ldohc

    Sti2.5ldohc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    I’m located in Delaware. The soil is dark in color. Looking to grow some kind of fescue
     
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,814

    You are best to select grasses that can grow on more acidic soils. I would love to have soils with that pH. It is easier to raise pH than to lower it. I typically apply 10 lb hydrated lime per 1000 sq ft to correct that kind of pH. It is also important to know what the base saturations are. As Riggle asked, do you need dolomite or calcite? Some soils only need Calcium because the Magnesium is already high.
     
  7. Sti2.5ldohc

    Sti2.5ldohc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Here is the soil test from the local university.

    8EEC32E7-E36B-482A-847B-18EBBACE0A14.jpeg
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,814

    Ok, you need finely powdered dolomite. Both Ca and Mg are low. If that were mine, the N would be from Calcium Nitrate rather than Urea or Ammonium Nitrate. I would consider using Calcium Nitrate as the N source for as long as you want grass.
     
  9. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  10. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

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