Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Learn how improving your soil can lead to a better looking lawn
kentster
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Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » July 10th, 2018, 3:04 pm

My soil test is attached. For some background, I am new to the site, but I have been reading quite a bit and trying to figure out as much as I can on my own. My lawn has been long neglected, so I am trying to get it back into shape. My goal is a nice lawn, but I am not worried about the "best in neighborhood".

This season, I started with the application of Scotts fertilizer crabgrass pre-emergent in the spring (before I found this site) and I have been following the first two steps of "triangle approach" to back the majority of the weeds and have had some success. I have also applied Miloganite in late May and just last weekend.

My lawn is about 10,000 sq ft in the front and 3,000 sq ft in back. The back is a fenced in area area where my three dogs prowl and are hard on the lawn. I have big 60-80' trees (oak, hickory, maple, etc) in the rear and one side of the property and mature landscaping. The house was built in 1990 and the yard has been lightly maintained since we moved in 18 years ago. I am mulching and cutting to about 4" right now.

The soil test is from 6 locations at 4" depth in the front yard only.

Image

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andy10917
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by andy10917 » July 10th, 2018, 10:29 pm

Post a Link to this thread into the Soil Test Interpretation Queue, or it will be missed.

kentster
Posts: 120
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Grass Type: Northern mix
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » July 11th, 2018, 6:48 am

Andy,

I think that I did... after the post was approved, I replied to your queue post with the link. This part was a little unclear, so I hope I did it right.

Kent

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andy10917
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by andy10917 » July 14th, 2018, 10:44 am

Well, despite your comments about neglect, the soil has "good basic genes". We can build on it!

Structurally, we can imply that the TEC of 9.37 indicates a nice medium Loam - and the OM% indicates that the soil is just short of excellent organic matter content. Mulch all those hardwood leaves in the Fall and stay on the organic matter content and the lawn will reward you.

In the cations, the Calcium and Magnesium are a bit on the high side, and the Potassium is lacking significantly. When I see that, my next step is to to check the anions for the Phosphorus number. It's lacking (badly) too - but that means that the solution is easy to perform - for both the Potassium and Phosphorus.

The combination of cation levels shows itself as a pH of 6.7. While that's a good ("sweet-spot") number, we'll have to be a little conservative to make sure that we don't push the pH out the top of the the sweet-spot when lifting the Potassium. Definitely DON'T apply Lime in any form while we work on lifting the Potassium levels!

The short-term solution is to apply balanced fertilizers regularly to concurrently lift the P and K. Locate a fertilizer like 10-10-10 or 19-19-19 and post the NPK for an application rate. Pick one you really like because you'll be applying it monthly from April to September for a couple of years. You'll be doing the Fall Nitrogen Regimen from September to November.

The Iron level is low, which will affect color. You can apply Ferrous Sulfate a couple of times a season at 2-3 lbs/K, or add Milorganite to your regimen off-cycle to the balanced fertilizers. Either will work.

In the micronutrients, Boron, Copper and Zinc are short - do you want to address those in 2018?

kentster
Posts: 120
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Grass Type: Northern mix
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » July 14th, 2018, 6:45 pm

Andy,

Thanks for the interpretation and generally good news!

I found Quaker Gap 10-10-10 at HD today that is about $14 per 40lb bag, so this should be a good source to get started with lifting the P & K. It says "Garden, Shrub and Flower - all purpose plant food", but it is pelletized and I'm guessing it is good to use for this. Just let me know the rate you recommend and I'll get started.

I have already been applying MIlo at the bag rate for the last few months and was planning an August application, so I'm happy to keep this up. When you say use Milorganite "off-cycle", do you mean keep applying monthly, but start two weeks after the 10-10-10 application? For instance, I'm doing the Milo around the 1st of the month, so will I do the 10-10-10 around the 15th?

From reading the forums, it sounds like I would just add the micros to the Milo when I apply this, so let's do it.

I'm starting to feel like a mad lawn scientist :)

Kent


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andy10917
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by andy10917 » July 14th, 2018, 7:09 pm

I found Quaker Gap 10-10-10 at HD today that is about $14 per 40lb bag, so this should be a good source to get started with lifting the P & K. It says "Garden, Shrub and Flower - all purpose plant food", but it is pelletized and I'm guessing it is good to use for this. Just let me know the rate you recommend and I'll get started.
Cool. It goes down at 10 lbs/K, monthly. The giant secret is that the "all-purpose plant food" avoids the limitations imposed upon lawn fertilizers, so no instructions for lawns (duh!). But it's all the same ingredients, with no changes. The average buyer assumes it must be different for gardens and lawns. No, not one bit.
I have already been applying MIlo at the bag rate for the last few months and was planning an August application, so I'm happy to keep this up. When you say use Milorganite "off-cycle", do you mean keep applying monthly, but start two weeks after the 10-10-10 application? For instance, I'm doing the Milo around the 1st of the month, so will I do the 10-10-10 around the 15th?
Basically, yes. The idea is to put as much time as possible between them. Trust me, off-cycle works.
From reading the forums, it sounds like I would just add the micros to the Milo when I apply this, so let's do it.
Yup. Get Twenty Mule Team Laundry Soap (from the grocery), and both Copper Sulfate and Zinc Sulfate from Amazon/EBAY. Apply at 3 tablespoons/K every 60 days for each other three nutrients. Read the Micronutrient Application Guide for application advice.
I'm starting to feel like a mad lawn scientist :)
My friend, you haven't even dipped your toes in the water yet. But grow and learn at your own pace - we're here when you're ready for the next steps.

kentster
Posts: 120
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 6:48 pm
Location: Lewisberry (South Central) Pennsylvania
Grass Type: Northern mix
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » July 14th, 2018, 7:14 pm

Great... I'll get started right away and report back. Thanks Andy!

kentster
Posts: 120
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 6:48 pm
Location: Lewisberry (South Central) Pennsylvania
Grass Type: Northern mix
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » July 14th, 2018, 7:22 pm

Great... I'll get started right away and report back.

One more thing... I was also planning to use Tenacity in the next week to spot treat an emerging bentgrass problem. Any special considerations as a ramp up this plan?

Thanks Andy!

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andy10917
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by andy10917 » July 14th, 2018, 7:40 pm

None unless you seeded in the last 28 days.

kentster
Posts: 120
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 6:48 pm
Location: Lewisberry (South Central) Pennsylvania
Grass Type: Northern mix
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » July 15th, 2018, 8:10 pm

Quick question on application rates... I ended up getting 40 lbs of 12-12-12 for a better price and I assume more nutrients. At 10lbs/k, I estimated 3.25 40 lb bags at the 10lb/k rate for my 13k lawn. I recalculated my 12-12-12 at 2.7 40 lb bags for the 12-12-12. Is this correct? Also, can I safely spread all 3 bags or should I stick with 2.7 and save the partial bag for next month.

Kent

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andy10917
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by andy10917 » July 15th, 2018, 8:17 pm

I don't recommend doing the way you are - it's too complex and won't work well when the numbers aren't equal...

The idea is to stop when any of the numbers (NPK) crosses 1 lb/K. 10 lbs/K of 10-10-10 will deliver exactly 1 lb/K of N, P and K.

It takes 8 lbs/K of 12-12-12 to deliver roughly 1 lb/K of each (0.96 lbs/K). That's the new number - 8 lbs/K.

kentster
Posts: 120
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 6:48 pm
Location: Lewisberry (South Central) Pennsylvania
Grass Type: Northern mix
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » July 15th, 2018, 8:22 pm

Got it. I'll adjust to this rate.

kentster
Posts: 120
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 6:48 pm
Location: Lewisberry (South Central) Pennsylvania
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » August 9th, 2018, 7:31 pm

Ok my friendly neighborhood lawn wizards:

I am reading the fall fert routine and want to make sure that I get it right. I think I'm ok with the timing, but unclear on the blending of the soil plan with the fall.

I am planning to keep up the soil plan and will drop milo with micros two weeks before labor day (8/25 with no micros). This is what Andy says he does and I think my climate is close enough to do the same. This seems to fit the early fall routine for me. I am then ok with the pause.

I plan to stop my 12-12-12 in August (8/11) and drop my last milo on 8/25. Wait during the pause. Next, I get ready for the late fall to drop Urea (2 lbs/K of 46-0-0). After this (assuming I'm getting it right), do I sit tight until spring?

Is this correct?

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andy10917
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by andy10917 » August 9th, 2018, 8:40 pm

Yes. I always try to do what Andy would do (but that's easy if you're me). :shock:

It really is very easy once you get the hang of the regimen. Once you're comfortable (2-3 years?) go off and do your own variation if you car to...

kentster
Posts: 120
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 6:48 pm
Location: Lewisberry (South Central) Pennsylvania
Grass Type: Northern mix
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » August 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm

Andy,

Thanks for the note, but are you saying that I got it right? Sorry, I'm still really green and get a little nervous that I might screw this up.

Kent

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andy10917
Posts: 27979
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Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by andy10917 » August 9th, 2018, 9:35 pm

The "Yes" was the indication that you got it right.

kentster
Posts: 120
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 6:48 pm
Location: Lewisberry (South Central) Pennsylvania
Grass Type: Northern mix
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » August 9th, 2018, 10:07 pm

Got it... I thought that, but wanted to confirm. Still a little shaky with confidence.

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andy10917
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by andy10917 » August 9th, 2018, 10:17 pm

Don't worry - most of what I post cannot be screwed up badly with a single mistake. It takes multiple mistakes, by design.

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andy10917
Posts: 27979
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Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
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Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by andy10917 » August 9th, 2018, 10:20 pm

For example, the Urea goes down at 1 lb/K weekly, so that you have make the same mistake in the same exact spot two weeks in a row to harm anything. Not even HLG could screw that up.

kentster
Posts: 120
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 6:48 pm
Location: Lewisberry (South Central) Pennsylvania
Grass Type: Northern mix
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Kentster Soil Test Evaluation

Post by kentster » June 19th, 2019, 7:17 pm

andy10917 wrote:
July 14th, 2018, 10:44 am
The Iron level is low, which will affect color. You can apply Ferrous Sulfate a couple of times a season at 2-3 lbs/K, or add Milorganite to your regimen off-cycle to the balanced fertilizers. Either will work.
Andy, I ordered 50lbs of Ferrous Sulfate and applied it at 3lbs/k dry. It appears that I likely screwed up and should have mixed with water and sprayed. We are expecting rain tonight and tomorrow, so my thinking was to get it down ahead of the rain. My question is should I have sprayed the application and, if so, did I do I immediate damage by spreading it dry?

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