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Soil report suggestions please.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Shady Brook, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I have a customer that has a lawn that is not responsive. The lawn has a great deal of moss and is thin with slow growth. The lawn has a good amount of shade in the back, but so do the neighbors and their lawns are in better shape. I have been using Natures Safe Organic fertilizer on the lawn the past two years with no improvement. I just did a soil test and this is what I found.

    Ph 6.0
    Total Exchange Capacity 12.01
    Organic matter 3.68
    Sulfer p.p.m. 14
    Easily extractable Phosphorous 43
    Calcium 3070
    Magnesium 416
    Potassium 72
    Sodium 29
    Base Saturation Percent
    Calcium 63.88
    Magnesium 14.43
    Potassium .77
    Sodium .52
    Other 5.40
    Exchangable Hydrogen 15
    Boron .42
    Iron 281
    Maganese 11
    Copper 1.53
    Zinc 3.74
    Aluminum 474

    I realize the Potassium is way out of wack. I was also wondering about the ratio of Magnesium to Calcium.

    Can anyone advise me of a plan to rectify these numbers? Also if you see somthing out of wack let me know as I am pretty green when it comes to soil tests. How does the exchange capacity look?

    I believe I have access to 0-0-38 PCSOP w/Mn Mg it has 3% Fe, 3% Mg, and 5%Mn


    0-0-45 poly coated potassium sulphate that containes 16% S

    I believe I would want the former as its K comes from Sulphate of Potash rather then the Potassium sulphate. I believe the Potassium suphate has a higher salt index and greater burn potential. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    How much should I apply, how often? Any ideas on a battle plan and time to retest the soil would be wonderful.

    Thanks so much.
  2. phototropic1

    phototropic1 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Messages: 118

    I'm not really a turf guy, but I'm thinking that the moss might indicate you have a compaction problem. You might need to aerate and top dress. Have you tried that?
  3. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    The lawn is a fairly sandy dirt base. It has been aerated yearly for the past few years. I think the Moss is because of the shade in part, but also because of the low K. I read an article from the university of Ohio State that talked about a persistant problem with moss on golf course greens that were low in K, and were rectified with added K. The same study I believe saw a reoccurance of moss, but this time it was not the fault of K, but I think a Magnesisium issue.
  4. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,349

    Hi Shady Brook,

    Ca/Mg Ratio is not that bad. But the Mg/K ratio is. But in my opinion, you need to Bump up the Sulfur and Especially The Phosphorous....wow 43 Lbs per Acre is WAAAYYY LOW! This will affect the Metabolism of plants big time! ( p is for plant energy) Next app. Starter fert or 19-19-19 and be sure to use Ferts. thereafter that have some free sulfur, Like for example lesco 24-5-11 . 3 % Free S.

    If you use fertilizers with Sulphate of Potash (low salt index.....Murate of Potash is high salt Index) the Sulfate will be immediately avail to the grass plant....applied Sulfur must be converted to sulphate in the soil, and this takes time.

    So get down some Phos, Potassium in sulfate form, and dont over apply! It will take a bit of time to get soils in desired range. 1 Lb. of Actual N,P,K at a time (19-19-19 would be 5 lbs of product per 1000 Sq. Ft. for 1 Actual lb N,P,K,)

    When plants get the Elements needed that are in short supply, and good growing conditions/temps/moisture. You will see a response QUICKLY.

    My money is on N,P,K,S . Chemical for a while and then alt. with organic bridged products, if you have soil in desired range, and some more experience with understanding a soil test, and your Turf's needs.

    Retest soil in one year at a 4-6" Depth.

    Kept it simple, others that have the experience chime in...

  5. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 757

    um, I'm pretty sure that sulfate of potash and potassium sulfate are the same thing. What you don't want is muriate of potash, a.k.a., potassium chloride.
  6. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    Your worst deficiency here is Potassium by far. You should be to at least 200 lbs/A. K is off by a lesser margin and you can probably correct it with one application.

    You do need to add Potassium for the next several applications, but if you use SOP the sulfur will lower your pH even further. Use SOP in warm/hot weather. You can switch to MOP in cooler conditions.

    Your pH is already low to begin with, so you will need to add lime at some point to counteract that.
  7. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    I do not think your numbers are that far out of line.
    However, I have learned that you need to correct the site conditions ie:

    Decrease shade
    Improve Air flow
    Releave soil compaction
    Kill or physically tear up the moss.

    Moss, once established,will not go away by just correcting the conditions that helped it get started. It must be torn up (thatcher/slice seeder) to be overcome. IMHO
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Calcium and magnesium saturations are pretty darn close. You can use calcitic lime to raise the calcium levels a tad and lower the magnesium levels. This will probably also raise your ph a little, which wouldnt hurt either. I would use 18/46/0 to raise phosphate levels and 0/50/0 sulfate of potash to raise K and sulfur levels.
    18/46/0, DAP, has a pH of about 6.5 so it wont hurt your ph any. 0/50/0, SOP contains a cation, (K) and a anion, (Sulfur), so it wont necessary effect the ph that much either. MOP, murite of potash will raise ph levels.

    Micro's are not that far our of line, get your P/K levels right and then work on the micros.
    Always correct the limiting factors first to get the maximum results with what you already have. Your limiting factors are P/K and then calcium and sulfur.
  9. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    This is good information. Thanks. I never read anywhere before how DAP,MOP or SOP effected the ph.

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