Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Learn how improving your soil can lead to a better looking lawn
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Ryan Free117
Posts: 11
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 9:16 pm
Location: West Central Wisconsin
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Some Experience

Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by Ryan Free117 » January 31st, 2020, 11:29 pm

Hello, this is my 2nd time posting a soil sample on this site and the 1st time work very well. Since my last soil test, we have moved to a new property and need a new maintenance plan for the soil. Thank you for the help in the past and can't wait to get started on the new soil/lawn.

Last year we built a house and we just got the lawn put in before winter. We decided on putting sod down versus growing grass. So last fall we had 3" of top soil brought in and put over the existing soil and then it was sodded with kentucky blue grass sod. The soil which was tested is the soil that was put down before the sod. Since we put the sod in late fall, it has not had a chance to take root. It hasn't even been watered once yet. So, I am not sure if I need to put anything down on it in early spring or simply just water it so it can take root first.

We do have a sprinkler system and the lot is .66 of an acre. With my previous lawn I would irrigate so that 1" was applied every week. At times in the summer I was watering a little more because the soil would dry out very quickly, but generally speaking, this method worked well. This will by my plan with the new sprinkler system, but hopefully this soil is better and will allow me to cut back some on watering

Mowing habits - Well unfortunately I will be push mowing this lawn for the first couple of months and have been told to cut it high. I generally leave the mower at roughly 3.5" throughout the year. I leave the clippings on the lawn as well.

Goals - Just to get the lawn started and to maintain a very green/healthy lawn. Just about all of my neighbors use a lawn management company to take care of their property so having a healthy lawn is important.

Since having a healthy lawn is very important to me and I really enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor, I am okay with doing a little work to keep the lawn healthy. So best practice for me is okay. With the last lawn, we didn't go into the micros, but if it will take the lawn to a new level, I am willing to give it a shot.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this soil. Thanks again in advance.

Ryan

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andy10917
Posts: 28049
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by andy10917 » January 31st, 2020, 11:38 pm

Ooooooh!! The season opens at midnight, and I'm ready.

...and so starts yet another season.

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28049
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by andy10917 » January 31st, 2020, 11:49 pm

Oops! "Lawn Size" and "Experience Level" are not listed - those are required for soil tests. Please update them so we can get the season going for you! Both can be changed within your profile.

Ryan Free117
Posts: 11
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 9:16 pm
Location: West Central Wisconsin
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Some Experience

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by Ryan Free117 » January 31st, 2020, 11:53 pm

Updated. I did see it in the other post, but got so excited for midnight that I forgot. Thanks for the reminder.

Now do I stay up till midnight to be the first in the queue!?!

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28049
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by andy10917 » January 31st, 2020, 11:55 pm

You can stay up as late as you'd like, but I wouldn't try holding my breath that long - just sayin'...


User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28049
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by andy10917 » February 1st, 2020, 11:16 am

OK, so you didn't waste your money on the topsoil. It's good stuff, and should hold nutrients well. It could use a bit of tweaking to be close to perfect, but it's a very nice base to start your lawn from...

Structurally, you're at the very top of Loam soils, and bordering on a heavy soil at a TEC of 14.25 (I use a TEC of 15 as the low end of "Heavy" soils). That's not an issue as long as it drains well - actually a good-draining heavy soil is a plus. It holds a lot of nutrients. The OM level at 5.41% is excellent.

The soil either naturally or through supplementation is at a pH of 7.0 -- completely neutral. That's OK, but we don't want it to rise, as the beautiful Iron numbers (wow!) would become unavailable.

What needs tweaking (if you want to) is how the soil got to the pH of 7.0. You're a little short on Calcium and heavy on Magnesium. Over the long-haul, that can complicate the Heavier nature of the soil and make it tougher to work. The solution is to supplement the soil with Gypsum, which adds Calcium without raising the pH, and can displace Magnesium.

The high Magnesium is also keeping the Potassium low. We'll address that with Sulfate of Potash ("SOP"). It's not the easiest product to locate - sorry.

The Phosphorus level is good. So is the Sulfur.

Sodium is not an issue.

Micronutrients are fine, except for Boron.

So, here's a plan for you...

Don't start applying nutrients until the lawn wakes up naturally. Hopefully, the very late sod installation won't develop dead spots where soil contact wasn't good.

If you have access to a Lowe's, the Sta-Green Rapid Gypsum product is excellent and pretty cheap. Apply it at the heavy bag rate every 90 days. Let me know if you can't get it, and we'll discuss alternatives.

Locate a supplier for Sulfate of Potash, and apply it at 2 lbs/K monthly April-September. Don't even bother looking for it at Lowes or Home Depot.

I would expect that Milorganite is cheap in Wisconsin, and a good source of Nitrogen and other nutrients. You can use that monthly at bag rate, or use Urea at 2 lbs/K monthly, except July to August 15th.

For Boron, get a box of Twenty Mule Team Laundry Soap, and apply it every 60 days at 3 tablespoons/K as directed in the Micronutrient Application Guide.

Ryan Free117
Posts: 11
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 9:16 pm
Location: West Central Wisconsin
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Some Experience

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by Ryan Free117 » February 2nd, 2020, 5:26 pm

Awesome news on the soil. I was defiantly jealous of my previous neighbor and his good soil.

I can order gypsum from Lowe’s since they have free delivery over a certain $. Menards also has gypsum, is that okay to use?

Milorganite isn’t that expensive at menards. Last time I bought from menards it was on sale and had 11% off. Think I got bags for $5. Hopefully they have the sale again. Even not on sale it is less than $7 a bag.

SOP I will try to find at local farm supply stores

Thanks for the help

Ryan

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28049
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by andy10917 » February 2nd, 2020, 8:39 pm

Some Gypsum products take as much as 30 lbs/K, and some go down at 6-10 lbs/K. Compare your costs at lbs/K and make your own decision.

Ryan Free117
Posts: 11
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 9:16 pm
Location: West Central Wisconsin
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Some Experience

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by Ryan Free117 » February 14th, 2020, 9:42 pm

Okay I have been searching for POS locally, but haven’t had too much luck. I did find this place which is about 2 hours away. The price of the POS, and urea is cheap. Just want to make sure this is the correct product. I also noticed they have gypsum. Is this the correct gypsum and if so what rate would you put that down at. These are the prices quoted.

POS - $.375 per pound
Urea - $.1725 per pound
Gypsum - $.125 per pound.


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User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28049
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by andy10917 » February 14th, 2020, 9:47 pm

What is "POS"?

Ryan Free117
Posts: 11
Joined: July 18th, 2017, 9:16 pm
Location: West Central Wisconsin
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Some Experience

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by Ryan Free117 » February 14th, 2020, 9:50 pm

Lol sorry SOP

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28049
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Ryan's Soil Test 2020

Post by andy10917 » February 15th, 2020, 10:47 am

OK - the SOP (Potassium Sulfate, 0-0-50) is what you want. The Urea (46-0-0) is also the right stuff, too.

In the Gypsum, the product listed is standard Garden Gypsum, and will need to be applied at 30 lbs/K. While it will work, it is less work and actually cheaper to use the product I mentioned above (Sta-Green Rapid Gypsum at the heavy bag rate that is much lower than Garden Gypsum) if you have access to it at a Lowes. Either option will work.

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