Slicker's 2021 Soil Test

Learn how improving your soil can lead to a better looking lawn
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Slicker
Posts: 4
Joined: August 30th, 2021, 9:50 am
Location: Central Virginia
Grass Type: KBG, Tall Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Slicker's 2021 Soil Test

Post by Slicker » September 2nd, 2021, 2:55 pm

Hello, recently decided to have my soil tested by Logan Labs and see what recommendations the experts might have:

https://postimg.cc/pyrSKfbk

I'm in central VA, near Charlottesville. Dealing with approximately 1/2 acre of a tall turf-type fescue/KBG mix. The yard is newish construction (built in 2016) and we struggled the first couple of years establishing a lawn (soil rock hard with lots of construction debris and nothing seemed to grow in it). We nuked the builder installed lawn, removed much of the debris,and reseeded with the current TTTF/KBG mix (I can pull the varieties off the bag I have but they're supposed to be suited for this area) in 2018. Have installed well based irrigation system which I currently run for 60 mins a zone (split into 20 min cycles x 3) starting at 3:30am twice a week on Sunday and Thursday. In the height of the summer in July I was running the irrigation three times a week (same 20 min x 3 per zone) on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday which I think was too much water and didn't really prevent the lawn from browning up. I plan on cutting back irrigation to once a week when the weather gets cooler at end of September. The heavy rains we received last week stymied my attempt to measure output of irrigation, but last time I tested I think I measured about .5 inch after running a zone for 60 min.

Lawn service mows once a week during the spring and fall and every two weeks during the summer.

I had my soil tested back in 2018 by VA Tech which showed a pH of approximately 5.7, so after reading the posts on this forum I applied sol-u-cal lime at the heavy rate back in May. Surprised to see that the pH in the Logan Lab test had increased as much as it did. Prior VA Tech testing also showed that Mg was 185 lb/A. I can post that test if requested.

Lawn currently looks pretty decent but as mentioned earlier was browning up during height of summer even though I was watering. Additionally, the soil seems very hard and there are a few spots where grass seems to grow poorly. Looking to see what if anything else I should be doing to bring my soil up to snuff.

Thanks

Slicker
Posts: 4
Joined: August 30th, 2021, 9:50 am
Location: Central Virginia
Grass Type: KBG, Tall Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Slicker's 2021 Soil Test

Post by Slicker » September 2nd, 2021, 5:57 pm

A couple of more things I forgot. There are no mature trees on the lawn so it receives full sun except for a small portion that gets partial shade behind the house. Last fertilization application was on 8/24 Milorganite at the rate recommended on the bag for an established lawn using a Scott's Edgeguard spreader (soil used for the test was collected about a month ago/before application).

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andy10917
Posts: 29584
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: Slicker's 2021 Soil Test

Post by andy10917 » September 9th, 2021, 12:08 pm

That's a soil that is just short of being a Loam soil - it's just a little on the sandy side. The OM% at 4.75% is OK, and just a bit short of being very good.

As far as the cations go, you have a bit of a shortage on Calcium and a surplus of Magnesium. This brings you in the side door to a nice pH. Potassium is fine. We could address the Ca/Mg ratio if you'd like, or we could leave well-enough behind - your call. Let me know either way.

You have a major shortage of Phosphorus. And Iron is a bit low too. Apply a Starter fertilizer monthly during the growing season to fix the Phosphorus shortage - it will take a couple of years. Apply 2-3 lbs/K of Ferrous Sulfate every 60 days.

Do you want to address the micronutrient shortages?

Slicker
Posts: 4
Joined: August 30th, 2021, 9:50 am
Location: Central Virginia
Grass Type: KBG, Tall Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Slicker's 2021 Soil Test

Post by Slicker » September 9th, 2021, 1:27 pm

Thanks Andy. I'd like to address the Ca/Mg ratio since based on my reading of this forum, the high Mg can cause tight/hard soil, and the soil does seem to be quite hard to dig into. I'd also like to try and address the micro-nutrient shortages as well.

Regarding the applications of starter fertilizer, the application would be at the bag rate?

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 29584
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: Slicker's 2021 Soil Test

Post by andy10917 » September 11th, 2021, 10:59 am

OK. Apply a fast-acting Gypsum at the heavy bag rate every 60 days of the growing season.

For the micro's, Boron and Zinc are short. Get Twenty Mule Team laundry soap from a grocery store, and get Zinc Sulfate from Amazon/EBay. Apply each at 3 tablespoons per 1000 sq feet, as outlined in the Micronutrient Application Guide. Repeat every 60 days.
Regarding the applications of starter fertilizer, the application would be at the bag rate?
Yes - and try to find a Starter fertilizer with a high middle NPK number.


Slicker
Posts: 4
Joined: August 30th, 2021, 9:50 am
Location: Central Virginia
Grass Type: KBG, Tall Fescue
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: Slicker's 2021 Soil Test

Post by Slicker » September 13th, 2021, 10:11 am

Great, thanks again for your assistance with this.

I thought I'd posted another question yesterday re: the Ferrous Sulfate applications, but it didn't seem to go through. I was wondering if I could use Mossex as a source of Ferrous Sulfate. The only other source of iron I have available locally appears to be Ironite.

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 29584
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: Slicker's 2021 Soil Test

Post by andy10917 » September 13th, 2021, 12:16 pm

Yes! You'll likely pay more, but it will work.

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