Soil tested... High sodium from irrigation system???

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Carolina Cuts, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152

    Ok, this is the scenerio.... potential new contract. Property has irrigation from near by pond/lake. (pumped) Grass hasn't been growing "right" according to HOA. Last years contractor had the soil tested from local university. Results came back "high in sodium". Huh???
    I have yet to test the soil myself. Adding a filtration system is out of the question... $$$

    trying to prepare myself now.... any ideas what could be done to reduce the sodium content in the soil? Lime?
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,667

    Unusual--are you near the ocean? Is the pond tidal or brackish? Is the water killing trees? You need your own soil tests--from a top-notch laboratory. If you have sodium--how much sodium in parts per million? Heavy rain tends to wash away the sodium.
  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Lime is the exact opposite thing you want to add that will only bring the sodium levels up. You would add gypsum, oil sulfur or disper-sul. These are all temporary fixes you will need to be applying on a regular basis.

    The pond must be getting effluent water from somewhere. The other option is to put a injector on the supply line and pump nfuric acid to bring the PH down to ideal levels. Probably cost you about 5-k for the set up and hard to say about the product as I have no idea about the size of property. We deal with high salt conditions all the time here. Bermuda handles salt pretty well our Ph is always 8-8.2 and it does fine.
  4. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,351


    Test the pond/lake Water. Na and Cl need to be below 3 meq/L. If higher, the water is an issue for the less salt tolerant turf types.

    Many ferts too have a salt index. This too can contribute to the salt load, as well as poor drainage. Look at Sulfur on soil test too...(often high on poor draining soils)

    Gypsum is one way to displace/unlock the Na......Followed by lot's of water.

    Test the water AND the soil. Report ALL the Numbers. We will help you.

    Na/Cl referance pg. 67 Western Fertilizer Handbook 9th Edition.

    Pete D.
  5. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,161

    I like Pete's take on this.

    I too would test both the H20 and the soil.

    That will just save time in figuring out if that salt is the problem.

    I would also try and see if you can see any fish living in the pond. If there are fish (fresh water)....I would be surprised if salt would be the issue!

    I wouldn't take someone's word on high Na in the soil (old soil test results)as what is high to one may not be to the other!

    Keep us informed to what you find!
  6. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152

    Riggle - yes, pond is roughly 2-3 miles from the ocean.
    It's a condo complex, not alot of grass. Basically a sidewalk strip across the front of the buildings (5). Very shaded area, ton of shrubs. Shrubs look fine. Actually the turf looked fine as well.... but the HOA just isn't 'happy'.

    Looks like a fun contract with a great HOA. :hammerhead:

    Heritage - gonna do that next week. Headed back up to Jersey for the weekend... coming back Tuesday and I'll try and get the tests done sometime next week. I'll keep yas posted...

    Thanks all for the tips/advice.

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