Soil Testing results...Is this right?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by rmerikle, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. rmerikle

    rmerikle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Ok did as advised here and got my soil tested through UMass. The question I have is it is stating I should apply 93 lb of calcitic limestone/1000 sq ft in split application. Do not apply more than 50 lb/1000 sq ft at one time. And also 2 lb/1000 sq ft of P205.

    It says my soil PH is 5.9 and best I can tell everything else listed is within range. Yes some are low and high within the range, but everything is within range. The only other thing that stands out is that Potassium is 187 PPM which is very high.

    The recommended dose of calcitic limestone seems like quite a bit when I am not seeing anything totally out of whack. What am I missing? Since I have about 1000 sq feet of lawn where the heck do I buy a 50 lb bag of calcitic limestone? And how would you recommend applying 50 pounds to a 1000 sq feet?

    And last, but not least if I am to apply 2 lbs of P205 how would you recommend doing that? Best I can tell P205 is not sold straight, but is usually mixed in with other stuff. Am I right here? Can I buy it straight?

    Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions!
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Can you post the actual test results?
  3. rmerikle

    rmerikle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,669

    Lime should be available at a garden dept like at Lowes. Just apply 50 pounds by going over it repeatedly with your spreader. Use a second bag later in the year. You soil is pH 5.9--slightly acid. Lime will help, but it takes a lot.
    Your phosphorus is very low at 5 lbs per acre. Grass doesn't need much phos, so I would just use a fertilizer with a medium high middle number (phos).
    Since you have high levels of potassium, try to find fertilizer without much potash, 3rd number. Difficult to buy exactly what they suggest, so Scotts 28-4-4 may be as close as you can come.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    IMO your soil looks pretty good, with the possible exception of exchangeable Ca. The pH is less a concern for me at this point, and I wouldn't start worrying about it until it hits 5.3 or less. Generally speaking, your soil is in good shape.

    I might recommend following the lime recommendation for the spring application only (i.e. ~40-45 lbs/1000 ft^2) in order to increase your exchangeable Ca a bit (% base sat. is a little low), but that is optional IMO..

    With respect to P, any source of P will do, preferably a natural one (i.e. like what you would find in a compost that contains manure), however I personally would hold off on any chem P apps.

    What is your turf type, is it irrigated, and what are the other relevant management variables that will affect decisions (mulch mowing, compost top dressing, compaction, irrigation schedule, soil type, etc...).

    Also, did you follow the UMASS soil sampling guidelines?
  6. rmerikle

    rmerikle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for all the replies. To answer/comment on a couple of the previous posts...

    Yes i followed the UMass directions.

    I'll take a look and see what I can find at the local hardware store. 50lbs just seems to be a heck of a lot, but feel much better going in that direction now. I am actually going to wait a couple of weeks to do the overseeding so might be good time to do the lime now.

    Irrigation is not a problem. It is a corner lot that has a slight slope to most of the lawn so it drains well. I live outside of Seattle and even with all the rain I never see a drainage issue. The soil also seems to do well absorbing and maintaining the water. I have had some moss issues, but think that is more because the lawn is so sparse right now.

    Moved into the property late fall last year. It took some time to get the weeds under control and had just enough time to do a quick seeding, so the lawn is pretty sparse right now. I am hoping to get the soil set and then do a over seeding in a couple of weeks.

    Thanks for all the feedback and let me know if there is anything else I should be considering. :drinkup: cheers!

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