JPack's Soil Test Results - 2022

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JPack
Posts: 26
Joined: March 9th, 2016, 1:43 am
Location: Southeast Iowa
Grass Type: Northern Mix
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Some Experience

JPack's Soil Test Results - 2022

Post by JPack » June 21st, 2022, 5:25 pm

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Hi Morph and Andy,

I am later than I would like to be with posting this year's results, but please find them attached. Here’s a link to my 2021 results thread: viewtopic.php?t=26581.

In mid-April this year, I sampled and received my test results. After conducting the sampling, because I had some leftovers from last year, I went ahead and just put down the 1 leftover application’s worth of Sta-Green Fast Acting Gypsum at 5 lbs/K (“heavy” bag rate) in mid-April this year and 1 leftover application’s worth of 19-19-19 at 5 lbs/K in early May this year.

Same basic details this year as last year:
• Lawn size: 1 acre (only 2500 sf front yard, rest the back yard)
• Irrigation: front yard irrigated, back yard just rainfall
• Goal: continue best practices to gradually improve my soil and lawn, but am still thinking of holding on micros for now until I’ve accomplished more with the rest of my soil remediation plan.

Last year, I completed the following from my soil remediation plan:
• Sta-Green Fast Acting Gypsum: 2 apps at 5 lbs/K (“heavy” bag rate)
• 19-19-19: 3 apps at 5 lbs/K (spaced at least 2 weeks from the gypsum)

Since beginning to work on this yard in 2020, the color has improved. It’s still not as dark as I would like, but I understand I have some limitations here due to certain characteristics of my soil. The grass was pretty good thickness-wise when I started with it in 2020, but I feel like that has further improved and some existing bare areas have pretty much filled in. Thankfully, no significant disease issues. I planted some more things this year, and I feel like the soil was easier to work this year than when I started planting things in 2020.

Looking forward to your thoughts on how my soil's coming along and how you think I should tackle the rest of this season. I really appreciate your time and help!

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MorpheusPA
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Location: Zone 6 (Eastern PA)
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Re: JPack's Soil Test Results - 2022

Post by MorpheusPA » June 22nd, 2022, 9:52 am

Carbon copy last year. While the magnesium number has come down from "astounding" to "wow," which is good, I'd like to bring it down to "well look at that." Possibly even "huh." Both the gypsum and the 19-19-19 help with the cause.

Phosphorus and potassium both need to go up, which is why on the 19-19-19, and calcium can rise while magnesium can fall, hence the gypsum. You can continue at 6 pounds if you want, or raise the amount if you prefer. Go as high as 10 if you like.

You actually HAVE brought the pH down to the point where iron is more bioavailable (a question of yours from 2020).

We're walking into the soil ranges where the minors can be adjusted. For that we're going to need:

Copper sulfate (eBay or a pool store). Get the powder, the crystals are a nightmare to work with. Ask me how I know.
Zinc sulfate (eBay). Powder, again, although I don't think any other form is readily available.
20 Mule Team Borax (your grocery store, laundry aisle, blue and white box).

Follow the Micronutrient Application Guide as to how to apply. Cover however as much lawn as you can easily afford to; 1 acre is 43,500 square feet, and I'm recommending a grand total of 6 tablespoons of copper sulfate per thousand square feet (250 or so tablespoons), 9 tablespoons zinc sulfate (close to 400 tablespoons), and 12tablespoons 20 mules (2 boxes, which is actually pretty cheap). Milo to carry all that can be skimped on, use the minimal amount to get it to bind.

Recommendations:

July: Mix 2 tablespoons copper sulfate, 3 tablespoons zinc sulfate, and 4 tablespoons 20 Mule Team borax per thousand square feet in Milorganite carrier and apply as per the Micronutrient Application Guide.

mid-August: Mix 2 tablespoons copper sulfate, 3 tablespoons zinc sulfate, and 4 tablespoons 20 Mule Team borax per thousand square feet in Milorganite carrier and apply as per the Micronutrient Application Guide.

October 1: Mix 2 tablespoons copper sulfate, 3 tablespoons zinc sulfate, and 4 tablespoons 20 Mule Team borax per thousand square feet in Milorganite carrier and apply as per the Micronutrient Application Guide.

JPack
Posts: 26
Joined: March 9th, 2016, 1:43 am
Location: Southeast Iowa
Grass Type: Northern Mix
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Some Experience

Re: JPack's Soil Test Results - 2022

Post by JPack » June 23rd, 2022, 1:21 am

Thanks, Morph!
Phosphorus and potassium both need to go up, which is why on the 19-19-19, and calcium can rise while magnesium can fall, hence the gypsum. You can continue at 6 pounds if you want, or raise the amount if you prefer. Go as high as 10 if you like.
When you say go as high as 10, are you saying I can do 10 lbs/K for the gypsum, or the 19-19-19 (except not July or August), or both? I am thinking you're saying that just for the gypsum, but want to confirm.

As to the pH, that has surprised me. Thank you for reading back through my earlier posts. It's already lowered more than I thought it ever would, which is why I attempted a possible explanation for it in last year's thread (one less sampling point from the higher pH front yard). I don't know if that, combined with the gypsum, fully explains it or if there may have just been some "bad luck" in the specific sampling points I pulled in that first year...? I don't know, but happy to see it lower than what it was after the first test.

Understood on the micros and Application Guide. I actually have all 3 of them leftover from my old yard. Those are from 2016/2017, and I couldn't find any expiration dates on the packaging. But in searching older threads, it looks like the shelf life of these micros is way longer than that (longer than I'll be alive), so I'll use them and add new supply as necessary.

Thanks a lot, Morph!

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andy10917
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Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: JPack's Soil Test Results - 2022

Post by andy10917 » June 23rd, 2022, 6:51 am

Synthetic chemicals may break down over time, but the items that are naturally occurring will be the same substance thousands of years from now, They may clump up a bit, but that's fixable with "persuasion" (read: a hammer).

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MorpheusPA
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Re: JPack's Soil Test Results - 2022

Post by MorpheusPA » June 23rd, 2022, 10:10 am

Ten per K on the gypsum! For the 19-19-19, 5.3 pounds per K is the correct application rate.

While I suspect sampling variance from the first year, an 0.5 to 0.3 variance from the first year with the drop in magnesium is consistent (there's a natural 0.2 variance in the test itself, give or take, plus sampling errors). It could be a bit more. Magnesium is the most significant major influencer of pH in the soil (sodium influences pH more, but there's usually far less of it unless something awful happens). While there's more calcium, it's a milder influence on pH. Potassium is both weaker and there's much less of it.

While I prefer a meat tenderizer over a hammer for unclumping micros, I completely agree with Andy on the point. There's no clumping issue with micros that can't be fixed, as long as you can return it to a powder. I'll also use a mortar and pestle.


JPack
Posts: 26
Joined: March 9th, 2016, 1:43 am
Location: Southeast Iowa
Grass Type: Northern Mix
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Some Experience

Re: JPack's Soil Test Results - 2022

Post by JPack » June 24th, 2022, 12:27 am

Thanks for those clarifications. Now all we need are some ATY-branded mortars and pestles! I really appreciate your help, Morph and Andy - thank you!

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