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Soil Testing Results

Posted by Petahertz NJ (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 20:59


For the first time, I'm going to take care of my lawn myself instead of paying professionals. So in preparation, I did a soil test late last fall. The results said:

1. Apply 40 lbs/1000 sq-ft of calcitic limestone.
2. The phosphorous is very low, so I should apply fertilizer with the ratio of 1-2-0 at a rate of 0.75 Nitrogen/1000 sq-ft.

So my questions are:

1. How do I know what spreader settings to apply the lime? I have a new Scott's Edge Guard spreader, but to my surprise, it didn't come with an explanation of what the settings correspond to. So how do I know how to spread 40 lbs/1000 sq-ft?

2. I can't find any fertilizer in the proportion of 1-2-0. In fact, the only fertilizer that I can find with any phosphorus at all is starter fertilizer with a proportions similar to 24-25-4. Can I use that, and how do I set it to apply at a rate of 0.75 lbs/1000 sq ft?

I'll have a lot more questions, but these are the ones that have me stumped!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Soil Testing Results

Hopefully someone with lime experience will give you an authoritative answer, but off hand, 40 pounds seems like twice as much as you need at one time. I would split the amount for spring and fall. Lets say you have 2,000 square feet to cover at 20 pounds per 1,000. Lime comes in 40 pound bags so you'll use the entire bag to cover the 2,000 square feet. Start with 10 pounds of lime in the spreader and the setting mostly closed off. Then run over the lawn and see how you did. If you ran out of lime early, then estimate how many square feet you covered and how much is remaining. If you covered exactly 1/4 of the lawn, then the setting is exactly right. If you went over less than 1/4 of the lawn, then you need to close it off more. If you went over the entire lawn and had some left over, then you can open up the spreader to allow more to flow out. This is a trial and error method, but it is better than totally guessing. Estimate how much you have left over in the hopper and guess at a different setting. Once you have that setting, write it on the bag or somewhere in the garage so you can remember it for the fall.

I would not sweat the fertilizer ratios. Just get sort of in the ballpark and follow the rate listed on the bag for your spreader model.

RE: Soil Testing Results

Thanks, dchall. That was actually very helpful. It makes perfect sense, and I hadn't read that tip in any of the lawn books that I read.

RE: Soil Testing Results

Thanks, dchall. That was actually very helpful. It makes perfect sense, and I hadn't read that tip in any of the lawn books that I read.

RE: Soil Testing Results

You're going to end up "eyeballing" the settings, but at least you will be helping inform yourself by experimenting a little. I tried doing this to apply 15 pounds per 1,000 square feet of corn gluten meal several years ago. I ended up with the setting all the way open and going over the area twice to get it all down at the right rate.

RE: Soil Testing Results

My next questions were going to be about aeration. But reading your past posts, I guess I will try the shampoo method. It sounds less scary than hiring somebody to punch holes all over my lawn and if it doesn't work. Now I just have to google what a "hose-end" sprayer is, lol.

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