Soil test question

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by mowerman41, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. mowerman41

    mowerman41 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    I am going to send soil samples in my yard to get tested. My question when I get the results back from the test. Is it going to tell me what I need to put down on my lawn to get the levels to where they are suppose to be?
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    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,462

    It all depends on where you send it. Some test labs will tell you what is needed for a price and some just tell you the basic like how much lime is needed. Call the lab you plan on sending it to and ask.

    Charles Cue
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,811

    Good advice, Charles.
    Its not really an exact science as far as how much potassium it would take to bring the soil test next year up to 65 pounds per acre...for example. They usually do not test for nitrogen. Nitrogen is mobile, sometimes moves with water--sometimes not, and the grass will uptake nitrogen at varying rates. Organic matter, CEC, soil texture, compaction, rain and irrigation frequency affect exchange sites.

    You will get very general guidelines as to how much of each nutrient and lime you should apply. For extra cost you can have around 15 micronutrients analyzed. Be sure to specify that you want a turfgrass recommendation, what species, and perhaps whether it is lawn, golf or sports turf; they need different levels of performance. Some labs just send you a general suggestion suitable for corn...or cotton...or vegetable garden. The computer does all the work according to a set formula, sometimes. Talk to the lab in advance so you understand what they can do and what they cannot. Be sure you understand how to take a proper soil sample.

    For big spenders you can have a "tissue test" which determines the actual nutrients in the grass blades themselves. This is an indication of what is present in the soil itself (and its true availability).

    Show us your soil test. We have some soil science specialists on the site that can help you.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  4. mowerman41

    mowerman41 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    Thanks will do
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