Organic Ball Field ?'s

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Left Field, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

  2. Left Field

    Left Field LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hi ,

    For the life of me , I can't figure out how to transfer my findings from the website to this reply . I'm old .

    I've positively identified my property and it is described as :

    19 E
    Fendall - Winema silt loams 15 to 35 % slopes .

    And yes ... all of the soil was onsite , I didn't bring in any .

    I sure do appreciate your effort here !!

  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Are you adding the soil reports to the shopping cart?

    You can also "print" each individual section out.

    You save the pdf that is generated then upload it like you did the images.
  4. Left Field

    Left Field LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I ain't no 'puter whiz ... If this works ...... this location is exactly where my ballfield now resides. We took out mostly Alder , but there were about 10 truck loads of Spruce , Hemlock and Fir .

    Attached Files:

  5. Left Field

    Left Field LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hello ,

    So .... is my pusuit of increasing my P level a good one ??

    Thx J.D. ( who dreams of having deep roots )
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Yes, but applying a P fertilizer may not be the best course of action, and almost certainly not at this time of the year.

    Some questions.

    1) What test did they use for determining P (Mehlich 3, Bray, or Olsen)?

    2) Did they test for Aluminum?

    3) I am assuming all values in the soil test results are ppm (unless indicated otherwise)? Your SS value suggests mmhos/cm not ppm.

    4) Details on your irrigation system and schedules would be helpful

    Some observations.

    1) Your Ca:Mg ratio is not optimal (see comment #8)

    2) Never apply gypsum as an amendment.

    3) Given the soil and pH, proper water management will be critical

    4) You may want to move your mow height up to 2-2.5" until established

    5) No need to apply K now or in the foreseeable future

    6) Utilize your SOM as a nutrient source of N and P (eg. get the biology working to your benefit)

    7) Would be nice to see pH around 5.5-6 for this soil, but don't hold your breath or try to force it. Keep your SOM levels between 5-10% with active biology and you should at least keep the pH stable and perhaps even raise it a bit.

    8) You might consider lime, but generally speaking, lime is not considered very effective when surface applied. If your core holes are still there, a one time application may be worthwhile. Your SMP suggests an application of 6 tons/acre of 100-score lime (use calcite NOT dolomite) would be required to raise the top 6" of soil to a pH of ~ 5.5. Using calcite as your lime source will also help correct your Ca:Mg ratio problems.

    9) Soluble salts do not appear to be a problem, which is not surprising given climate and soil.

    I'll comment further when you answer the questions. I also attached a nutrient availability chart as it applies to pH for your reference.

  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I am impressed to say the least, excellent info

    Kiril is right, don't chase PH or try to correct it quickly it will come around on its own as the soil balance comes around.
    Great advise on liming, Dolomitic lime has a lot of Mg and will not help but just prolong the Ca to Mg ratio issue. Ca to Mg ratios like your soil at 2:1 will lead to compaction issue quickly. You want a 6:1 or 7:1 ratio Ca to Mg to "open" the soil.

    The SOM reading are excellent, it will allow you to get your biology going over the long run pretty quickly. You have to remember the other comments about highly distrubed soils. The biology will take some time to get established on its own. I would still like to see some way of getting a slurry of compost sprayed on or compost teas applied, highly fungal if possible.

    I am going to look at some information I have about your P reading. P leechs very easily, the extention agent is right it needs to come up but lets look at some alternatives.

    If we can get the soil and biology balanced, your inputs to keep a great looking ball field will be drastically reduced. Saving lots of money and time in the long run.
  8. Left Field

    Left Field LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hello ,

    Can't Thank you guys enough !!!

    1. I'm not sure what method was used to determine P levels ... I'll call next week .
    2. I don't believe that they tested for Aluminum ... should they've ?

    3. I thought all values were ppm ... maybe not ?

    4. My irrigation system has a 3,000 gallon tank that feeds 10 zones . I was watering each zone 10 - 15 minutes , using approx. 2,000 gallons almost everyday in Aug and Sept .... If I let a day go without watering the grass would immediately begin to brown and get almost crispy .... luckily I have a good well !!

    I was planning on trying to raise my P levels soon ... maybe not ? If not now , when ?

    My core holes are still open ( mostly ) and I was also considering liming soon ... but 6 tons per acre ?? Whew ... I had no idea !! I have about 30,000 sq. ft . of turf = 3/4 acre = 4.5 tons = 180 50lb bags . Man that seems like alot . My plan was to apply 50lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. or 30 bags . A waste of time ??

    How do I get my ca to mg ratios in line ? Will this assist in getting deeper roots ?

    Thanks , J.D.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Probably Bray, but it helps to know when making a recommendation.

    Given the pH and your limited rooting, I would say yes. Aluminum toxicity can in part explain what is going on with your turf.

    I would double check units. A guide to reading the report should have been included with it.

    I was looking more for sprinkler types, nozzles used, spacing and count within a zone, controller type, information from any water audits conducted, etc...

    I expect your using some type of rotor, which would mean that 10-15 mins per zone is not a long enough run time, which again, can explain in part what is going on with the turf.

    Unless your going to incorporate a source of mineral P (like rock phosphate) into the soil that will weather at a natural rate, for the most part all your going to accomplish by putting it down now is polluting the water shed.

    Also given your turf is most likely dormant right now, the P demand should be minimal. I would suggest waiting until spring when you see active growth and soil moisture levels are 20% or more below field capacity. In your area that should be sometime in March or early April.

    Also note that given your location and sedimentary parent material, I am curious if the P test is giving you an accurate picture of total available P. I'm checking around for more information on the parent material in your area.

    Probably a waste of time (with respect to pH) given that amount will only be effective for a very small amount of soil. Remember, that is the recommended rate to treat 6" of soil, and is best utilized when incorporated directly into the soil.

    Just to give you an idea of the volume of soil we are talking about,

    1 acre inch = 134.4 cubic yards
    6 acre inch = 806.7 cubic yards

    As suggested in previous post, using calcite lime to adjust pH will help get Ca:Mg ratio into a better range. Ideally you want to get close to 7:1, but given your soils/climate, I would be happy to see 5:1.

    Once again, don't try to force the system to do something it cannot sustain.
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I forgot to ask if you have any water quality data on your well?

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