Ken2736 soil test

Learn how improving your soil can lead to a better looking lawn
ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 14th, 2020, 6:59 pm

This is my soil test for 2020

Im at a beginner level when it comes to lawn care. I have about 30k to 33k of lawn. My lawn mix is 60%kbg, 20% perennial rye and 20% creeping red fescue. Here is my soil test below.


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andy10917
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Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
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Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by andy10917 » May 14th, 2020, 7:48 pm

You need to post the Lawn Size and Experience Level in your profile, before a soil test will be interpreted

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 14th, 2020, 9:19 pm

Done. Thank you

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andy10917
Posts: 28496
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: Ken2736 soil test

Post by andy10917 » May 16th, 2020, 11:54 am

Oh boy! This is not a soil for a beginner.

That's a soil that is quite heavy. "Heavy" soils have a higher clay component most of the time - with one exception, and you have many of the hallmarks of the exception. But it's even more complex than that. The exception is called "calcareous soil", and it is generally marked with a very high Calcium component, sometimes in concert with a high Magnesium component too. And that adds up to a pH of 8+. You have that too (in spades, at 8.4).

Because there is often so much Calcium that the soil can't keep it in solution, this leads to the soil test results being distorted, and we always recommend a special version of the soil test called a "Ammonium Acetate" test, which removes much of the distortion from the test results. The bad news is that it means another test (and the resulting extra cost). I can use my experience with the calcareous soils to make an educated guesstimate of what's distortion and what's not, but I'm always very conservative in my plans when doing that (I don't want to make it any worse if I'm wrong).

What makes me nervous in your situation is that generally calcareous soils will show that they calcareous nature by artificially making Magnesium and Potassium numbers look too low. Your's don't do that - everything is very high.

So, how do you want to proceed? Do you want to call Logan Labs and have them rerun your tests (they probably still have your soil) for an extra charge from Logan, or do you want me to go forward with educated guesses about the results? Please let me know ASAP, before they toss away your soil samples.

PS: we are doing a controlled experiment with a Humates product that may help things in calcareous soils, and one of the experiment members is in Montana (in Kalispell). You may want to track the experiment results as we progress - it's in the "Members Only") forum.

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 16th, 2020, 4:28 pm

Now I'm really confused as if I wasn't already. I will call logan labs on monday morning.


ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 16th, 2020, 4:30 pm

So an ammonium acetate test? I do water using a well. It contains sulfur I believe

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andy10917
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Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by andy10917 » May 16th, 2020, 5:51 pm

Yes. Ammonium Acetate, and if they ask at what pH, 8.2

What confuses you?

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 16th, 2020, 7:52 pm

Thanks Andy. I'm confused by all the jargon/terms you used to explain the soil test. As in the chemistry terms used to describe my soil. I have no idea what any of it means. I barely know what the numbers on a fertilizer bag mean. So yes, a complete newbie

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andy10917
Posts: 28496
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
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Level: Advanced

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by andy10917 » May 16th, 2020, 8:06 pm

Post the sentences that you have the most problem with, and I'll explain the for you...

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 16th, 2020, 11:07 pm

The exception is called "calcareous soil", and it is generally marked with a very high Calcium component, sometimes in concert with a high Magnesium component too.

I'm not sure what this means. So, it's possible that I have high magnesium and high calcium?


What makes me nervous in your situation is that generally calcareous soils will show that they calcareous nature by artificially making Magnesium and Potassium numbers look too low.


Is the soil I have bad? What exactly does calcium and magnesium do to soil?

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andy10917
Posts: 28496
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: Ken2736 soil test

Post by andy10917 » May 17th, 2020, 6:29 pm

The exception is called "calcareous soil", and it is generally marked with a very high Calcium component, sometimes in concert with a high Magnesium component too.

I'm not sure what this means. So, it's possible that I have high magnesium and high calcium?
It means that all three major cations are high, and the major cations (Calcium/Magnesium/Potassium) are what make up the pH. Your pH of 8.4 is very, very high, and it comes from the fact that the things that make it up are all high. This is not something that you can easily fix, which is why I said "this is not a soil that is for a beginner".
Is the soil I have bad? What exactly does calcium and magnesium do to soil?
There is no "good" and "bad". Your soil is what your soil is, although some soils are easier to modify than others. Your's is difficult to modify - there is really no way to make nutrients go away.
What exactly does calcium and magnesium do to soil?
While I could write a textbook on what they do, there is no way to explain it in a paragraph or so. They are critical nutrients to the growth of plants, including grasses. You'll have to google those questions yourself or just execute the plan we provide without understanding how it comes together. when we get the results of the Ammonium Acetate test.

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 18th, 2020, 2:32 am

Andy, it's funny because a few years ago I did a Mason jar test of my soil. Everyone said why bother its heavy clay. After letting the soil sit in the jar for two weeks, it was about 40% clay and the rest was sand and silt. I heard that calcium and magnesium make the soil act "clay like". Is this true?

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andy10917
Posts: 28496
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: Ken2736 soil test

Post by andy10917 » May 18th, 2020, 7:24 am

I'm going to go back over the older soil test and discussion, this evening. I wasn't aware that you made the Hall of Fame with that test. And it's not an Ammomium Acetate test. That provides another source of data.

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 18th, 2020, 9:50 am

Andy, I called logan labs and they're gonna run the ammonium acetate test at 8.2 ph. The older " hall of fame" test was only done on part of the yard. That's all the grass I had at the time

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 18th, 2020, 2:33 pm

Here is the ammonium acetate test


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andy10917
Posts: 28496
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: Ken2736 soil test

Post by andy10917 » May 21st, 2020, 7:11 am

Ken:

Well, that confirms that the soil is calcareous, and that you have luxury levels of most nutrients, including micronutrients. There is little that you can do about the resulting pH - there is no way to remove nutrients.

Hopefully, your soil drains well. All you can really do is provide it with 1 lb/K of Nitrogen from Urea (46-0-0) by applying the Urea at 2 lbs/K monthly. If color doesn't meet your expectations, you can apply foliar Iron by reading up on FAS applications.

If I were you, I would check on the progress of the experiment underway about the use of humates in calcareous soils, and if it all pans out you can work with us to use it in the future.

Sometimes, having too much of good things leaves you with little that you can do to change scenarios.

If you have time, keep us informed about how that lawn grows in a very unusual soil...

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 21st, 2020, 7:43 pm

What does FAS applications mean? Not sure what FAS stands for

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andy10917
Posts: 28496
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: Ken2736 soil test

Post by andy10917 » May 21st, 2020, 7:56 pm

What does FAS applications mean? Not sure what FAS stands for
Ferrous Ammonium Sulfate. It's a foliar application of Iron. It's in the Articles area in an Article about Spray Iron Applications.

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 22nd, 2020, 10:44 pm

Thanks Andy for all your help

ken2736
Posts: 45
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 12:12 pm
Location: South Central Montana
Grass Type: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass, Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Ken2736 soil test

Post by ken2736 » May 23rd, 2020, 10:05 am

Andy, should I still apply milo as a fertilizer or stick to FAS apps?

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