Scott's 2019 Soil Test

Learn how improving your soil can lead to a better looking lawn
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scottf4
Posts: 22
Joined: October 3rd, 2018, 6:52 pm
Location: Northern Kentucky
Grass Type: Tall Fescue
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Some Experience

Scott's 2019 Soil Test

Post by scottf4 » March 19th, 2019, 11:14 am

Lawn size: 1000 sqft
Area: Northern Kentucky very near the Ohio River
Generally shady due to adjacent buildings
Currently have tall fescue. In Fall 2017, I brought in about an inch of topsoil to the back and tried seeding. It grew well at first, but did not come in as thick as desired and was patchy. I tried overseeding Fall 2018, but had a very bad germination rate. I have no tree cover and live in a very old neighborhood; I'm guessing that explains the abysmal organic matter number.

I really appreciate any advice you have to offer. Willing to put in the work to get a nice lawn!

https://postimg.cc/WtrWcykx

scottf4
Posts: 22
Joined: October 3rd, 2018, 6:52 pm
Location: Northern Kentucky
Grass Type: Tall Fescue
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Scott's 2019 Soil Test

Post by scottf4 » March 19th, 2019, 5:59 pm

I also want to add that I do have issues with water not draining well. My guess is that the low OM has caused my dearth of earthworms, which has caused my compaction. But if the test reveals anything on this topic, I’m interested to know.

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andy10917
Posts: 29160
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: Scott's 2019 Soil Test

Post by andy10917 » March 19th, 2019, 6:52 pm

Put a link into the Soil Test Interpretation Queue, or it didn't happen

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HoosierLawnGnome
Posts: 9587
Joined: May 22nd, 2013, 5:59 pm
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Grass Type: Blueberry KBG
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Scott's 2019 Soil Test

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » March 31st, 2019, 7:31 pm

I was just in Louisville this last week. Things are off and to the races. (Derby pun intentional...)

That really is a fantastic soil. Not much work to do. It's a sandier loam with that TEC of 7.08 but overall in really good shape with plenty of available nutrients.

The main area you are lacking is organic matter, which is bad at 2.2. Mulch mow your turf, including leaves this fall, and spend some time adding peat moss, or compost. On 1k it's not much work, and it will help your lawn the most given it's high levels of nutrients you'd normally be adjusting with fertilizers. Fill in low spots, using a high OM topsoil, and shape the yard to drain better.

I cant find an issue with your major cations, k, ca, and mg. They are well balanced and the pH is in a great spot at 6.7.

Phosphorus is off the charts.

Iron is at a great spot and quite available.

Sulfur might use a little bump. Find garden sulfur also known as elemental sulfur and apply it at 1 lb per k this spring and fall.

That leaves nitrogen. Get a bag of urea 46 0 0. It will last you forever and at 18 bucks a 50lb bag is very affordable.

Apply urea now and in may at 1 lb per K.

This fall apply it at 2 lbs per K September, October, and then winterize with it when top growth stops but the roots keep growing. Might be late December for you in the upper transition zone.

Water that urea in after application.

scottf4
Posts: 22
Joined: October 3rd, 2018, 6:52 pm
Location: Northern Kentucky
Grass Type: Tall Fescue
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Scott's 2019 Soil Test

Post by scottf4 » March 31st, 2019, 8:43 pm

Thanks Hoosier. I can’t for the life of me figure out why my sandy soil has patches that are so shiny, flat, and let water sit on them. I started using BLSC and kelp help at the end of last fall. Perhaps those will help. One thing I did not mention: I did do a solid winterizer app of urea (I still have plenty, too). Would that preclude the nitrogen app for right now?

As for OM, is either peat moss or compost “better”? Anything else I should be adding? I did one round of peat moss last fall as well. Plan to do more all year. With such a small area, I’m not too worried about the work or cost side of things. With leaves, I can probably get some from neighbors. Is there any fear of bringing in too much weed seed? Or just take the free OM and deal with it.


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HoosierLawnGnome
Posts: 9587
Joined: May 22nd, 2013, 5:59 pm
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Grass Type: Blueberry KBG
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Scott's 2019 Soil Test

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » March 31st, 2019, 9:19 pm

scottf4 wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 8:43 pm
I did do a solid winterizer app of urea (I still have plenty, too). Would that preclude the nitrogen app for right now?

As for OM, is either peat moss or compost “better”? Anything else I should be adding? I did one round of peat moss last fall as well. Plan to do more all year. With such a small area, I’m not too worried about the work or cost side of things. With leaves, I can probably get some from neighbors. Is there any fear of bringing in too much weed seed? Or just take the free OM and deal with it.
Do 2 lbs per k urea mid may instead of the two half spring apps given your winterizer last fall. I did assume you hadn't applied anything. Urea and a pre marked hand spreader make quick work of your area.

I wouldnt worry too much about weed seeds from leaves especially if you have a good pre emergent down. I like peat moss a lot, because of its density and sterile nature. Probably best lb for lb and it stores easily. Other things are pine pellets, alfalfa pellets, cracked corn etc from farm supply stores. I'd add in other things like compost mostly for biodiversity.

Top dressing with om will help level it over time, but if there isn't a very slight grade you may still get pooling.
Maybe you could slightly grade it away from your house over time of so? Even a few inches over 100 ft would do it.

scottf4
Posts: 22
Joined: October 3rd, 2018, 6:52 pm
Location: Northern Kentucky
Grass Type: Tall Fescue
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Scott's 2019 Soil Test

Post by scottf4 » April 2nd, 2019, 9:46 pm

Thanks again. Sulfur will go down very soon. Any need to touch the micros or not worth it at this point?

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