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PH (Help)

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by garyslawn, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. garyslawn

    garyslawn LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 156

    I got this new commercial account. they want a nice lawn and say it "Always looked bad." I had the soil tested and it came back PH7.9. What would cause it to be so high in NE Ohio??? Thks.
  2. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    A couple of things can easily cause high pH levels regardless of where you are. Soil type, percent distribution through the profile, organic matter (or lack there of) present, trees, fertilization history, and probably the most over looked - source of irrigation.
    Besides, 7.9 isn't as high as I have seen with turf actually growing. I was asked to supervise a gc superintendent (new) with an alleged 4yr degree in turf management. We were on the greens, which had bare areas about the size of a car tire, one or two to each green. He couldn't answer why the bare areas were there. I did some sampling - in the bare areas the pH was over 9.5, in the remaining areas the pH hovered around 8.4!
    The source for the high pH was the irrigation water - it came out of the heads at 8.5 - 9.2 depending on the time of year - drawn out of a large lake the course borders on.
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    SWD has given good advice and I can only second his posts. Water quality is one of the most overlooked thing in home lawn care. Professional turf mgr like Golf course and athletic fields are very aware of water source and quality because of the cost of water they use in volume. Golf Courses in my area spend millions of dollars on water conditioning equipment.

    7.9 pH is not that high and can be lowered with acid forming fertilizers or straight sulfur. Try acid forming fertilizers first because sulfur can cause Black Layer. good luck
  4. I agree with ric and swd advice.

    When in N Il and C IL our water ph was high, but their was alot of great grass grown with ph of 7.2 to 8. We couldn't get ph below 7 on bentgrass greens.

    Could have been over limed. I sometimes find that in Va, people know soil is acid, so that keep on liming without ever doing a soil test.

  5. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Great timing with this thread and a problem I have.

    I am working a average back yard for around here. The proble is thin and bare areas in heavy shade area with little water.

    PH level is 7.7 and the P level is low. I was thinking 18-24-5 with a sulfer ap. I was hoping of getting the PH to around 6-6.5 because of all the variables out of my control (trees are not comming down) and I am going to need all the help I can get to get some turf growing well.

    I am looking to seed with a mix of 80% fescue's and 20 Rye. Would it make sense to seed now or wait until fall? It is my understanding that lime can take 2-3 months to get in and actually start to change the PH, not sure about sulfer.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts..

  6. Enviro Green

    Enviro Green LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    This is something I like to keep in mind when dealing with pH and soils, but bear in mind it is only a guide, and well managed soils can exist at many pH's and give good results. I hope it comes through.

    I have worked on sites with a pH of 4.0 on organic soils that give great yields because there is no aluminum or iron in these organic soils, which is what usually ties up nutrients at low pH's. Also, I agree with Tim and Ric on their points.


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  7. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    Heygrassman, do not wait and try to lower pH before you seed. Provided you can effect pH to the degree you want, with-in one season,then you have a soil structure problem. Have you gotten a good soil test report - one that shows your CEC millequivilants and saturated hydraulic conductivity? Do not try to base a corrective course of action upon a pocket pH tester alone.

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