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What would your expert opinion be on this report?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Hamons, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    I was hoping some of the experts on this site would help me look at the soil test results I received. I have posted my lawn's soil test to use as an example for our exercise.

    I can obviously read all of the overt data -- but what can someone with more experience and more knowledge ascertain from reading between the lines?

    Although I am 27 years old and been in the lawn care business for many years -- I am still hungry to learn more!!! I can't wait to hear from lawnstudent, tremor, grounkprs and many of the other "lawnsite experts." I a


  2. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    GroundKprs is a dud on soil tests. His soils are pretty much ideal for turf growth, but in the few occasions that a soil test seems necessary, Jim goes to T for an interpretation. T has written his own manual for analysis of soil test results, and Jim trusts his judgement.

    It's not just the numbers, and how big or little they are. There is also an interrationship between the various numbers, to determine true requirements in your program. And I'm too busy (or lazy) to learn his method, LOL.
  3. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472


    I think your biggest problem at this site is the pH of your soil. A low pH or high pH can interfer with the availablility of nutirents. Therefore, your first priority should be to adjust the pH.

    Follow the directions given by your analysis and apply 74 lbs of Dolomitic limestone per 1000 sq. ft.

    Dolomitic limestone will not burn the grass, though it can react with a fertilizer. Do not fertilize at the same time that you put down dolomitic limestone. Wait a week or two before you fertilize after liming. If you have already fertilized, then wait a week or two before you lime.

    Dolomitic limestone takes a while to work, especially on an established lawn. Don't expect immediate results. It may be 1, 2, or more years before you see any dramatic change in pH. Dolomitic limestone can only move through the soil as little as 1/2 inch per year, so it will take some time to affect the majority of your turf's rhizosphere.

  4. Agree with lawnstudents reply, but I would never apply more than 40 to 50 lbs of lime at one time. make lime applications @ 3 months apart. recommendations for dolomite lime because base saturation of mg low.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    I am with Timturf about the amount of Lime to be applied at any one time. Therefore Lime should be applied on an on going bases. Remember pH can not be modified permanently by lime. I feel it is better to have a lower pH than a higher pH. More element are available in lower pH. "P" does not leach from the soil therefore I would not apply it. "K" does leach and I would continue to apply it. Boy I wished I could get a CEC of 21.6. Get you pH up and I would think it would hard not to grow good turf on this soil.

    Below is a copy and paste from a post I made on LS in Dec of 2001.

    What is pH

    pH is the inverse logarithm of the hydrogen atom in a solution.===>Soil in water is measured for the amount of free hydrogen ions.

    The more hydrogen ions the lower the pH.==> acid
    The less hydrogen ions the higher the pH==> Base or Alkaline

    My soil runs 8.5 to 9.5 pH therefore I use ammonium sulfate as my nitrogen source to help lower pH. This works two ways 1.) ammonium sulfate is 1.333 lb sulfur to 1 lb of nitrogen. Therefore for every pound of N I am putting down 1.333 lb of sulfur. 2.) ammonium is 1 part Nitrogen to 4 parts Hydrogen. Therefore for every atom of Nitrogen I put down I am putting down 4 atoms of Hydrogen. The Increase in hydrogen ions decreases pH .

    If my soil were 4 to 5 pH I would put down lime to raise pH. Here is how it works. Lime is hydrogen oxide or OH. OH joint with the free Hydrogen atoms to form HOH or water H2O. The decrease in Hydrogen ion increases pH.

    I hope my simple chemistry has helped you.
  6. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    what will it do to the fertilizer?

  7. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Dolomitic lime can cause some of the nitrogen in your fertilizers to be converted to gas and escape back to the atmosphere. Thus you just wasted your time and money on fertilizing that lawn. Also, if you are using a fertilizer with phosphorous, it can be "fixed" into insoluble, unavailable compounds. The latter should not be a problem in Hamons case if he uses a fert with no phosphorous, as has been suggested in his analysis.

  8. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Dolomite lime also will not burn the grass. Its pretty much mistake proof. This is a good quality to have when you are making a recommendation and you do not want to open yourself to any liability.

  9. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472


    one more point. Your soil has 3.8% organic matter. Ideal is 5%, but 3.8% is a very good quantity of organic matter. I see a lot of soils with much less. Get your pH corrected and you've got a damn good mineral soil for growing turf. Keep the pH in the 6.5 to 6.8 range. Just slightly acidic for KBG.

  10. youcantdothat

    youcantdothat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Can anybody tell me exactly what the Cation Exchange Capacity is? I really don't understand it but have been told is plays an important role!


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