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How often should you take a soil test?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Ijustwantausername, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,711

    I took one for a customer earlier this year and the soil needed 40lb of lime per 1000. I did that and was just wandering how often to get one done?
  2. Dave does lawns

    Dave does lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    "If the soil was in need of correction, such as liming, then testing once a year may be in order to monitor the progress. If the report indicated that only slight correction was needed, then once every two or three years should be fine. "

    Found on: http://www.lawn-care-academy.com/soil-tests.html

    PH buffer measures how easily the PH of the soil can be changed I believe, so if the soil is easily changed then I would also consider yearly test be done.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    pH never gets permanently changed, so if you need lime this year, you'll need it every year... question is:
    Is the pH off enough, to even affect the grass???

    I've quit liming because I was tired of it and everything is still growing just fine... but obviously I'm only speaking in theory and make no claims that your lawns will be just fine... what I'm saying is,,, the range for grasses is pretty wide, and it is the cultural practice that make the biggest difference... JMO... :)
  4. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Soils from one region to the next will change and have variability. Soils in one town to another can vary. Soil will vary from North, South,East and West of a given area.
    Since as it was stated that turfgrass will grow in many situations, it is a science and practice to do a test once every other year.
    What is surprising to me is---One state will test for one thing and use a different kind of test method than all.
    I find that in Arkansas--Agriculture is the norm--The Melich 3 test is used widely. I can't help but get angry to survey the forms with my crop of choice for testing. I check the box for turfgrass. The test results come back the same for grass as it would for soybeans.
    The state will advise you to apply the same product on grass as you would for cotton.

    Make soil tests according to State requirements and what changes that need to be made if in the event of a nutrient deficiency. My State offers these tests for free.......but my time isn't free. So, there needs to be a real reason to offer a soil test before going into my time.
  5. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I do a ph test in spring and fall
    Only do full soil test on new acct. or if the lawn isnt looking right

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