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Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ProLawns, Jan 15, 2005.
Is there any way to test your soil for the presence and level of microorganisms?
These people have a service that does that, classes that show you how and a lot of good info along those lines.
Why worry about this .....just start using compost tea, medina, and composite and you won't hurt a thing. I figure you can't get too many.
Soilfoodweb/NY charges around $300 for a complete analysis. They give you the ph & buffered ph, plant available & reserve nutrients/micronutrients, CEC, moisture, OM, salt index, active and total fungal & bacterial biomass, counts on the protozoa & nematode, and the % of mycorrhizal fungi. The also make recomendations as to how to correct the soil to the desired range on all of the above. It might seen expensive, but if you have a problen yard, it is worth it. We had a new yard that was not responding to anything we tried organic or chemical and we needed results fast, so the money was well spent.
So what was wrong?
what was the recommendations?
CEC was low, ph low(65#/K was put down the year before by another co), Mg low in relation to Ca & K, and fungal boimass low in relation to bacterial biomass, mabe a few other things (I dont have the report in front of me). 45#/K lime in 2 apps after OM added so it wouldn't leach, momthy compost tea apps w/ fish hydrolysate and humic acid. Soil was heavily compacted so we aerated before the start of tea apps.. I think that was it, but I would have to check to see for sure.
Mycorrhizal fungi was added, the % fron the test was almost nothing.
Thanks, just curious
We had done a soil test with the University of Ga at the beginning of the year and I believe that the only thing that it needed was fertilizer, again I would have to check. We had cut it last year and the other company did the lawn apps, so we new that it had some problems, but didn't know if the other co had done everything that they said, because the yard looked worse and worse. The soil test from UGA said everything so we started out the year was OK, so we figured that they had not been straight up with what they had done. We started out the year and the yard was not responding to fert, we tried organic fert, then started using urea to get some growth and Fe to get color to buy time for the SFW test.
If you have a lot of soil testing to do (ching ching!), the folks at Soil Foodweb will train you how to do their tests for about $600 plus your transportation to Oregon and the cost of a microscope ($400+). Let's say you charged $100 for one of these soil biology tests, you'd need 10 or more to break even.