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Soil Test

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by hmartin, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    PH 6.5
    Phosphourus 11 lb./ac Very low
    Potassium 131 lbs./ac Low
    Magnesium 442 lbs./ac Very High
    Zinc 2 lbs./ac High
    Calcium 2379 lbs./ac

    State recommendation
    May 3lbs of 34-0-0 per 1000 and
    8lbs. of 0-20-20 per 1000

    June 3lbs. of 34-0-0 per 1000 and
    7lbs. of 0-20-20

    So far I have used
    32-3-7 30% SCU w/ 2% iron in late April at 1 lb N per 1000
    0-0-50 SOP in May at .5 lb K per 1000
    0-46-0 in late May at 1 lb P per 1000
    32-3-7 30% SCU w/ 2% iron in Mid June at 1lb N per 1000
    We have not had any rain here lately, so I am holding off on more fert. till rain is forecasted.
    This soil test is very basic, but can anyone give me some suggestion or guidance on what to do? What do I need to look for in a soil test in the future? I learned lots by reading the other soil test threads. Thanks everyone.
  2. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    Turf is bermuda.
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Need base saturations and CEC to give any suggetions. you cant simply look at lbs and determine what to use or how much. Every soil has a certain appetite for certain nutrients. The CEC helps determine what that appetite is. Just guessing, I would guess that your ph is 6.5 because of the amounts of magnesium the soil contains. If it wasnt for the magnesium your ph would probably be much lower. With high Mg levels, the calcium levels are probably low so corrective amendments probably should include gypsum which is calcium and sulfur. Calcium will displace magnesium base saturations on a lb per lb basis. It takes two lbs of sulfur to displace one lb of Mg. Adding the gypsum will increase calcium levels while lowering the the magnesium levels and without adversely effecting the soil ph.

    Now that I have stuck my neck out on a limb, post the rest of your soil test results, I might of guessed with luck and gotten pretty close, but the base saturations might say something completely different. If your soil test doesnt include base saturations and CEC, it time to find a new testing facility.
  4. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    What I posted is all the info I have. I need another lab. I am close to the one THREXX used in his Soil test Post. What do you think of that Lab? What are the all the values that I need to know for an accurate recommendation? Thank a lot for your help. If gypsum is needed, must it be incorporated or can it be applied on top of the soil?
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I may have over spoken about your lab, what you get from a lab depends on what you ask for. Since most homeowners dont know what to ask for they get the basic soil test which is what you have. I have seen similar test results from AL Labs. Just the basics. Threxx got the more advanced test that also cost extra $$. But he got something that can be used if you are trying for an optimum fertile soil, which most people dont try for, they just want green grass. AL Labs is a very good testing facility that has been around a long time, altho I have never used them myself.
  6. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    We use A&L labs, and you will get the major nutrients and CEC with the basic test. For a few dollars more you get the micros as well.
  7. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    Ok, the first results I posted were from a 2003 soil test. I did a new test and sent it to A & L Labs. TurfUnlimited, Muddstopper, Heritage, and others help me out if you can. I want my lawn to be as good as it can be. I like to show off for the customers.
    Soil ph 6.0
    buffer ph 6.74
    P 22 lbs/ac
    K 236 lbs/ac
    Ca 2494 lbs/ac
    Mg 530 lbs/ac
    Sulfur 30 lbs/ac
    Boron 1.2 lbs/ac
    Copper 3 lbs/ac
    Iron 256 lbs/ac
    Mn 230 lbs/ac
    Sodium 54 lbs/ac
    Organic Matter 2.0% ENG 84
    CEC 8.7 meq/100g
    Calculated Cation Saturation
    %K 3.3
    %Ca 56.6
    %Mg 23.4
    %H 14.9
    %Na 1.3
    K:Mg Ratio .14

    I think that I have made some improvement, but have more to go. Thanks to everyone for their help:clapping: :clapping:
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Calcium still very low and magnesium very high. the good news is for every % point you raise the calcium levels you will lower the magnesium levels point for point. You can use calcitic lime to correct this imbalance.

    Still need to raise P/K/S levels but everything else seems pretty good. Switch to ag grade fertilizers and use 18/46/0 to provide P and your nitrogen. After you get the P levels up you can switch back to the slow release N's also use 0/0/50 SOP to get your K and S.

    I would also start using some compost top dressing to build your organic matter levels.
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I also noticed that your calium an magnesium levels where higher than they where on your last soil test. This suggests that someone has applied dolomitic lime instead of calcitic lime. Dolomitic lime contains magnesium, if you continue to use dolomitic lime instead of calcitic lime, you will never correct the magnesium levels.
  10. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    No lime of any type has been added. I used a different lab and my have dug to a slightly different depth last time. Thanks for the recommendations.

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