Lawn soil test rests

rmj619April 30, 2012

Need advice on how to interpret these results and reccomendations on treAtment..

D schall. I know ur out there

PH. 6.6

Organic matter. 3.56 percent

Sulfur. 21 ppm

Phosphorus. 129 lbs/acre

Calcium. 1972

Magnesium. 194

Potassium. 174

Sodium. 71lbs per acre

Base saturation percentages

Calcium. 71.94

Magnesium. 11.79

Potasium. 3.26

Sodium. 2.25

Trace elements

Boron 0 5

Iron. 321ppm

Manganese. 81 ppm

Copper. 1.86ppm

Zinc. 7.45ppm

Aluminum. 679 ppm

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Yes I'm here but I don't read soil tests. Others do. Would be good to know another thing or two.

Where do you live?
What kind of grass are you growing?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 1:59AM
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Tall fescue. I live in southeast pennaylvania

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:28AM
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That's pretty close to perfect. Your K (potassium) number is normal, but you could bump it up a bit. Phosphorus is good, but a bump there wouldn't hurt. pH is in the sweet spot, no liming necessary. Ca:Mg ratio is great too. Iron level is very good. The only advice I would give would be to add more organic matter and I would use starter fertilizer for your spring application in May. Boron looks a touch low, but it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Tiemco. Thanks for the advice. Not to sound dumb but how do i go about adding organic matter

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 2:07PM
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There are many ways. In terms of free stuff, you can mulch mow (don't bag), and in the fall mulch mow the leaves on your lawn making sure the pieces are small enough that they aren't negatively impacting your grass. See if your local Starbucks gives away its coffee grounds, which can be added to your lawn. Milorganite, soy bean meal, cornmeal, alfalfa pellets (rabbit food) can all be applied at any time, usually 10-20 lbs. per 1000 square feet (you can do this weekly if you want but it can get pricey, monthly is more reasonable). Topdressing with compost is another good way to up your OM. Take a look at the organic forum for more ideas.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 2:30PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Great! With tiemco's blessing on the soil, I'll give you a shortcut to adding more organic matter.

1. Apply as much organic fertilizer as you can afford every week.

There it is. That's all you need to know. Apply at a rate of 20-40 pounds per 1,000 square feet. If you apply less or less frequently it will take longer to build the organic matter. Between you and me you can get away with using it monthly or even 3x per year. The point about using it weekly is that you can't overdo organic fertilizer. With chemicals you would kill the lawn using that much that often. I would suggest using alfalfa pellets (rabbit food) as a base and soy bean meal if you can afford it. Many people use Milorganite and have great success with it. I have trouble finding it. You can find alfalfa pellets at almost any feed store. Call ahead to be sure. See if there is a price difference between Rabbit Chow and alfalfa pellets. They may have one or the other or both. I got a $3 discount on the plain pellets versus the rabbit food.

Just for incentive I'll post a picture of what alfalfa pellets can do for your lawn. The following image was posted here at GW last June. The green spot was fertilized with alfalfa in May. Note that it takes 3 full weeks to "suddenly" see the improvement. This is a biological process, not a chemical process. It takes time. Note the improved color, density, and growth.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 8:49PM
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