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soil tests

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by ampeg76, May 24, 2007.

  1. ampeg76

    ampeg76 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    i wanted to get some input on soil tests

    i can get a basic test which includes: buffer pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, % base saturation, and CEC

    for an extra cost i get: zinc, manganese, iron, copper, sulfur, boron, soluble salts, sodium, organic matter, and texture

    i guess i want to have an idea of what a basic test should include, and what elements are really tangible to know about!

  2. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    Who knows?...........I been around this business forever and we have never tested the soil. If we aerate, seed, fertilize, lime, spray weeds, pre-emerge, fertilize and the yard still looks like crap.................then we might send a soil samply off to have tested.
  3. Nathan Robinson

    Nathan Robinson LawnSite Senior Member
    from 47712
    Messages: 317

    I am in the process of getting my new website set up. I just secured www.FreeSoilTesting.com I think it is important to test soil for micro nutrients. I could go on and on how this can help you. I bought a soil testing machine that tests these for $2,100.00. I have closed several sales just by offering free soil testing. People love seeing the change. Test often!
  4. GrazerZ

    GrazerZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    We are of the confirm target then shoot mentality,not the shoot first then see if its what you were after. To me soil test confirm what my objective is, and often results in easier sales for extra work once we have proof of what is needed in hand. My goal is to do a test on all new confirmed and existing customers.
  5. ampeg76

    ampeg76 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    thanks for the input!

    it just seems knowing exactly what a lawn needs is so much easier than a crap shoot, granted most lawns will respond to a general balanced fertilizer

    i think it adds to a professional image, is better for the enviroment, customers like this, and are more willing to pay for the quality!

  6. Nathan Robinson

    Nathan Robinson LawnSite Senior Member
    from 47712
    Messages: 317

    you got it!
  7. Deep Roots

    Deep Roots LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Do you find that soil in an area remains fairly consistent? I had a couple tests done last year and the results were nearly identical. I can vouch for the need to do soil tests and also vouch for the results you get by knowing how to use the information it provides.
  8. Nathan Robinson

    Nathan Robinson LawnSite Senior Member
    from 47712
    Messages: 317

    Its all really close in my area. The biggest difference is in the standard fertility and alkalyne
  9. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    Look people, turf needs certain things that are predictable and constant: N-P-K. All you folks who are building a better mousetrap by soil testing every lawn are just gimmick marketing. Now if there are abnormalities manifesting in the turf, then yes, a soil sample is reasonable. But a soil test on every lawn you treat is just not necessary.
  10. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Gimmick marketing? How are you going to know if the homeowner dumped lime on his lawn every year for the last ten years before giving you call? Or if too much of one micro is locking up another? Generally, most soil tests do come out the same in certain parts of my area, but the bottom line is you never know. Especially when working with organic fertilizers, it's best to correct all soil imbalances before starting a program so the customer gets the most bang for their buck. We don't require soil samples, but I do recommend them for most new lawns.

    There's a lot more going on in the soil than NPK.

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