very poor soil

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by danthony, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. danthony

    danthony LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    I have a client who has a recently seeded lawn (turf type tall fescue). Since they were diligent on watering, it has begun to come in ok. The problem is the soil is so poor, I would like some advice on how to correct this after the fact. Here is the soil sample as follows...

    organic matter- .3
    P1 - 4 ppm
    P2 - 6 ppm
    K - 64 ppm
    Mg - 318 ppm
    Ca - 2402 ppm
    pH - 8.4
    CEC - 14.8
    %K - 1.1
    %Mg - 17.9
    %Ca - 81
    %H - 0

    added so far was about 10# sulfur per K
    and about 10# 6-24-24? per K

    any thoughts about doing something economically here? I am dealing with about 3/4 an acre.

  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    Aerate top dress with compost. Tilling in a larger amount prior to seeding would have been much better
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  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The OM being @ .3 makes everything else that much more dramatic... pH is really high which is common for your area... correct?

    Compost is a great idea... also be sure to mulch mow and even mulch in the leaves if possible...
    The thing that more OM will do for you, besides the obvious, is to buffer the pH making it possible for the root hairs establish their comfort zone more profittable...

    There's really no reason to dump on the P and whether you need that much K is also questionable... I'd focus on the N duing the periods when the grass is activly growing... just not too early in the Spring... :)
  4. danthony

    danthony LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    the pH in our area can be high, but that is unusually high. ... I also neglected to mention that I had the person seeding it add some mycorhyzzae to the seed.

    On the P, I am surprised that you wouldn't think it necessary to add some. That # is extremely low, but maybe there is something I am missing here.

    I am kicking myself for not adding compost here when they were seeding, but there was already an irrigation system in place and in one large spot the grade didn't drain very well. The homeowner wanted to add topsoil then, but i knew it was going to be very expensive and I figured he could put that money in additives and come out ahead. Big mistake on my part though on not attempting to add in compost beforehand.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,665

    Grass seldom benefits from added phos. Keep the slow-release nitrogen coming as Smallaxe suggests. A heavy shot of Milorganite in between mineral nitrogen and potash applications will add enough phos, plus organic matter and organic nitrogen.
    Myself, I would include potassium as it is vital for resistance to cold and disease. Every 30 days until the grass is established--or until the mowing becomes burdensome.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The purpose of Mycorhyzzae (AM Fungi) is to 'mine' the bound up P from the soil... It is estimated the 80% of the P added to a soil is instantly bound up through its chemical reaction to the soils... AMF woks with a root both externally and internally to effectively extract the naturally occuring P from the mineral sands and clays....

    That system is the best system in handling P and mulch mowing recycles fresh elements that are now, in a more readily available form...

    Another consideration about AMF and P is that additional applications of P, arrest the activity of the AMF... In that way adding P can be counter-productive... :)
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

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  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,120

    Adding organic matter with compost topdressing, clippings, mowed leaves and organic fertilizer is your best and most economical long term solution. Other actions are like putting a band-aid on a deep cut.

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