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P & k

atouchofnature

LawnSite Member
Location
Central KY
I recently got back soil test results on several lawns. Up until the past year, I subscribed to the idea of applying chemical fertilizers on a scheduled basis. Besides that, most of my customers are former customers of companies like TGCL and Scotts. As a result, all of my tests came back with P & K being in the "very high" range.

My questions: Obviously, I should not apply any synthetic P or K this year, but will the P & K in organic fertilizers (such as compost, kelp, fish or meals) create a problem? If so, how can I apply the needed nitrogen organically without having any P or K?

Will the high amounts of P & K create any problems? If so, is there a way to reduce the levels?

In the past, I always read soil samples, applied what was recommended & resumed my regular treatment schedule. I would like to understand the results better, and act based upon all of the results, not just on the extension agent's recommendations, so if anyone has any links to help me out with details it would be greatly appreciated.
 

dKoester

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Chesapeake VA
Blood meal is 12-0-0.
 

ICT Bill

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Howard County MD
Alfalfa and soy meal are high in nitrogen and not much P or K as well
some testing results are based on agriculture requirements, they assume that the site will be plowed to incorporate the fertilizer into the soil, always ask the testing facility, you cannot assume that they know the tests are for turf
the USDA has great information available on their site about soils, most of it is based on Ag requirements but the basics of soils are well......the basics of soils

start here http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/concepts/soil_biology/soil_food_web.html
great information on how nutrient cycling works in soils

People with dogs may not appreciate blood meal applied on their lawns, mine loves to roll in it
 

Kiril

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
District 9 CA
I recently got back soil test results on several lawns. Up until the past year, I subscribed to the idea of applying chemical fertilizers on a scheduled basis. Besides that, most of my customers are former customers of companies like TGCL and Scotts. As a result, all of my tests came back with P & K being in the "very high" range.
No surprise

My questions: Obviously, I should not apply any synthetic P or K this year, but will the P & K in organic fertilizers (such as compost, kelp, fish or meals) create a problem? If so, how can I apply the needed nitrogen organically without having any P or K?
Find a source of N that is low in P & K -> one suggestion has already been made -> blood meal

Will the high amounts of P & K create any problems? If so, is there a way to reduce the levels?
It can create problems, but what problems exactly depends on your soil. Can you effectively reduce P? Probably not. Can you effective reduce K -> probably, however is there a need to do so?

In the past, I always read soil samples, applied what was recommended & resumed my regular treatment schedule. I would like to understand the results better, and act based upon all of the results, not just on the extension agent's recommendations, so if anyone has any links to help me out with details it would be greatly appreciated.
Never follow a labs recommendations. They are generic recommendations and should only be used as a guideline. They have no idea the specific management details of the site and how it might impact fertility management.

This lab has some general info to help you understand how to read and act on test results.

http://www.spectrumanalytic.com/support/library/
 
OP
A

atouchofnature

LawnSite Member
Location
Central KY
Thanks for the input guys.

Most of my customers have dogs and/or cats, so I am afraid the blood meal might cause some digging problems. Besides that, my best price on blood meal is about $1 per lb, making it a bit cost prohibitive.

The soy meal & CGM sound like good options. I have heard different breakdowns on both, some saying no P or K, and other plugging in a .5 or 1 on the P or K. Either way, it is a very low amount if any.

Kiril - thanks for the link & input. The lawns actually looked great until they went dormant, and I had little to no disease or insect problems last year, so the high levels probably aren't really hurting anything (I'm saying that while knocking on wood).

Bill - The tests were specifically for established home lawns, and it was noted that they had been overseeded to thicken the turf last fall. I will probably test them all again this fall and use a different lab, they didn't provide me with results of all the tests I paid for. I am having a hard time getting in touch with the right guy to find out if maybe they performed the tests but neglected to give me the results.
 
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