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Soil Analysis Results

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by TexasTurfgrass, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. TexasTurfgrass

    TexasTurfgrass LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 23

    I just got my soil analysis results in the mail. It looks like my pH is a little high at 7.9, but the thing that is interesting is that the sulfur is also very high. After just looking at the pH I was assuming that my sulfur would be low since it is recommeded to add elemtal sulfur when the pH is high. Does anyone have an idea why the sulfur would be high when the pH is also high.

    The analysis did not recommend adjusting the pH, but I am asking just because it seems strange to me.

    I am attaching the soil analysis just in case anyone is interested.


  2. Mr. Nice

    Mr. Nice LawnSite Member
    from zone 7
    Messages: 155

    Look at the other cations levels. don't just look at any one nutrient, many factors at work here...
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I might blow some peoples mind with my recommendation seeing how I normally knock tree huggers. It appears you have enough nutrients including those that lower pH. But I also know Texas can have clay soil with a high pH. IMHO you are a candidate for a Organic program. Organic material can lower pH and increase conductivity as well as field capacity.
  4. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

    My, oh my! . . . and from the 1-0-3 ratio man! Here's a take from the 1-0-1 guy:

    Organic programs can work well here in TX. But the drawback is the high amounts of N needed for proper maintenance here. Texas A&M recommends 5-6 lbs of N per year on hybrid bermuda grass, and it can really take a full pound/MSF monthly without excessive growth or thatch. That's 8 lbs N/yr! Using organics is gonna run up your tab because they just don't give a long lasting feeding, and with their low N content, you're gonna be running the spreader more often than you like trying to maintain good color and turf health, especially in the "big heat" from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

    People find it hard to believe when I tell them that this miserable clay is actually chock full of P, K, and micros. Fighting the clay and alkaline soil is a losing battle. Working properly with it can produce a beautiful turf.

    Alternating your organic applications with straight N applications of ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) is a great program here in TX. Don't worry about the sulfur levels in your soil. You'll never get enough down to change the pH significantly, and the sulfur is very beneficial in "unlocking" some of the bound up P, iron, and manganese in the soils. That's very helpful in disease prevention.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    OK I will give you that and in cold weather AS 21-0-0 is a better choice than urea. Bermuda does require more N than St Augustine. Organic programs IMHO don't fill all the nutrient needs and I like Bridge products. But given the soil sample and low SOM I feel a heavy organic program would help that lawn.
  6. TexasTurfgrass

    TexasTurfgrass LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 23

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. This is great information.
  7. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Quiet and Ric,
    Being that I am in the Arkansas area, the majority of the growing areas are for crops is sandy loam, loam, and what some people call gumbo. The housing areas that are being developed seem to all suffer from the common disadvantage of urban hardfill materials. You can take a soil sample and down to 12 inches in the core sample, all red sand, clay, and no organic materials will be found. This type of urban junk is supposed to grow and sustain life for a Hybrid Bermuda lawn and Zoysia grasses.
    We have talked with our Extension departments, universities, and agriculture officials with little to no advantive evidence of providing a healthy long living soil to our customers. We will take random tests every other year on our lawns. The tests will show a gradual change in the soil characteristics or nutrient change. The pH is a total nightmare for adjustments. (Texas Turfgrass, that is an impressive soil test report there!) I am jeleous because Arkansas doesn't give us back anything that descriptive. All we get is a half-@#$ black and white copy of general stuff and the same ole' recommendations for all soil types. Ammonium nitrate at x amount per acre--lime if needed at x amount per acre and Ammonium sulfate.
    Any way back to topic--With our soils being clay and most pH ranges of 5-6 and hard as skillets, we often find ourselves in poor posture during the months of July and August.
    What organic programs can you offer for advice considering, we are not as free to materials as you are in Florida and Texas. The reading that I have done has driven me to dead end roads blockaded by usage of local products like Peat Moss, Milorganite, and other available materials. We can obtain materials like rice hulls, cotton lint, saw dust to name a slim few, but this stuff must be well cured before usage, and it is so darn far to obtain that it is impossible to make any money in its recovery. So, I am confiding in you guys to elaborate how to correctly render clay useful without destroying a customers lawn and starting over------------this is not an option for most people. We have to take what is given and work with it!!??
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Think Green

    Gumbo mud can be either great or a real PITA. When I was in Ag we sub plowed fields adding organic matter plus sand and still could never get that section to produce. Hard as a rock when dry and muddy soup when wet, Gumbo mud can be a real B1tch to work with. I am not sure I can help you from a far, more information is needed and then I can't promise you anything.
  9. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

    I'm surprised by several things. 1) Your pH is so low 2) The universities and extension services have offered so little help.

    Are you dealing with irrigated properties? The most beneficial factor I've found in dealing with the heavy clay soil is having my customers irrigate 1/2" on consecutive days, then letting it dry out. The root zone needs moisture, but it also needs oxygen. Saturating the clay is bad, and not enough water in the root zone is bad.

    If you try to water 1" all at once, too much runs off.

    And spacing out watering days doesn't allow the water to penetrate deep enough into the clay, particularly when evaporation rates are high in the summer.

    And if water doesn't get deep enough, the roots will remain shallow, and the turf struggles in the summer heat and drought.

    Try this watering method and see how it works.
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Compost does a soil good.

    If possible put all your water on in one day.

    Need a reason why your pH is high even with the sulfur ... look no further than your Ca levels.

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