Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Learn how improving your soil can lead to a better looking lawn
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EddieN26
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Grass Type: Bewitched Front / Mixed KBG Back
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Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by EddieN26 » May 1st, 2019, 3:03 pm

This will be my first of many soil tests, and hopefully I did everything right. Before last May, the yard was lucky to be mowed once every few weeks, and relied soley on mother nature to quench its thirst. After May, the sod in the back yard was struggling so bad that I had to intervene, and never looked back. After educating myself with all of the quality info available "Around the yard," the lawn started to flourish. I took the liberty to renovate the front yard in September with Bewitched and it's never looked better!

So the front yard, 900 sq. ft., received less attention throughout the spring and summer last year due to being the ideal crabgrass lawn. I killed it off, laid a fresh layer of compost over the entire area and topdressed the seed with peat moss (which may be contributing to the little bit of extra OM).

The back yard, 1750 sq. ft., got a few more apps of milorganite, 1 app of 10-9-10 in June, and 1 app of 14-4-24 in September. All without a soil test.

Both yards are non irrigated, so I do my best to hand water and use sprinklers to get the necessary amount. Both mulch mowed regularly at 3.5", raised to 4" during the summer. Mulched the leaves in last fall for the very first time.

I threw down 14-4-24 @ 8#/1000 last Monday 4/22 before deciding on Friday 4/26 to do things right this year with a soil test. So I'm hoping the fresh nutrients aren't skewing the results. I'm a willing learner and definitely looking for the best approach to kick everything up to high gear! Cost is not an issue given my tiny yard, so anything's on the table.

And most of all thank you for the knowledge you share and for everything you do for this growing community! It's because of people like you that the average homeowner like myself has the opportunity to have a beautiful stand of turf.

Image

EddieN26
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Joined: June 13th, 2018, 1:37 pm
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Grass Type: Bewitched Front / Mixed KBG Back
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by EddieN26 » May 1st, 2019, 3:37 pm

And also if you can, please advise on a nitrogen component to the plan. I have several bags of milorganite leftover that I would like to continue to use if they fit in. Thanks again!

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andy10917
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by andy10917 » May 1st, 2019, 10:02 pm

That's a pretty sandy soil with mediocre (Back) to OK-but-not-great OM numbers. The overall negative numbers are actually worse than they show on your test results because the TEC is setting the bar very low. You're going to lose a fair amount of nutrients to leaching until you get that OM to rise. All forms of OM should be used - free is good.

Get and apply good calcitic lime (Mag-I-Cal/SoluCal/Encap) at 9 lbs/K, mixed with 2 lbs/K of Epsom Salts. Apply the mix at 11 lbs/K, every 90 days.

Also apply Sulfate of Potash (SOP - not the easiest thing to find) and apply at 2 lbs/K monthly until September.

Phosphorus levels are good.

Apply Milorganite or Bay State (good stuff, cheap) monthly at bag rate. The Iron is at the low end of the good range, but it will help.

In the micro's, Boron (from the grocery as Twenty Mule Team Laundry Soap) and Manganese (as Manganese Sulfate from EBAY or Amazon) are needed. Apply at three tablespoons/K every 60 days, as described in the Micronutrient Application Guide.

You'll see change this season on that regimen. And next year. And the year after that...

EddieN26
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Joined: June 13th, 2018, 1:37 pm
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by EddieN26 » May 1st, 2019, 10:44 pm

Andy, thank you very much for the quick response and the laid out plan. I realize the sandy soil is definitely holding me back, and will work hard to pound the OM into it to hopefully start retaining water and nutrients more effieciently. I appreciate your time and effort, and can't wait to see the results! Just to clarify, do I need to wait any duration of time between applying the calcitic lime and salts to apply the SOP and ferts?

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andy10917
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by andy10917 » May 1st, 2019, 10:47 pm

Not with Bay State or Milorganite. If it were Urea, then Yes.


EddieN26
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by EddieN26 » May 1st, 2019, 10:56 pm

Beautiful, thank you!

EddieN26
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by EddieN26 » May 15th, 2019, 6:48 pm

Andy, would you consider me a candidate for the Fall Nitrogen Regimen this year given my soil's state? And if so, are there any applications regarding the Lime + Epsom, SOP, and Milo with Micros that I should avoid applying in any specific timeframe as September gets near? I just made 1st app of Solucal + Epsom salt today and would be looking to apply them again around mid August

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andy10917
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by andy10917 » May 15th, 2019, 8:58 pm

Andy, would you consider me a candidate for the Fall Nitrogen Regimen this year given my soil's state?
State of Massachusetts, State of Mind, or any other state north of the Mason-Dixon line, I find everyone to be a candidate for the Fall Nitrogen Regimen. The timing works out great for you - I use August 15th to be the start of the Fall Season, as the nights begin to get a little cooler. Some Bay State or Milorganite is a gentle wake-up call, and around Labor Day it's time to get on the horse. The transition is documented in the thread and several other posts.

EddieN26
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by EddieN26 » May 15th, 2019, 9:23 pm

Awesome, thanks again for all the information. I look forward to joing the fall fun.

EddieN26
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by EddieN26 » June 19th, 2019, 6:53 pm

Andy, would applying Humic DG from The Andersons on a regular, consistent basis as a supplement to my soil plan have any benefits over time? And would spraying BLSC produce similar results as spreading the granular at a much cheaper price? It looks like a great product, and very high in humic acid, but wondering if it'll benefit my situation in any way

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andy10917
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by andy10917 » June 19th, 2019, 7:32 pm

I'm lost. The first sentence is about Humic DG, the second is about BLSC and then we're back to whatever "it" is.

Sorry - could you rework your question?

EddieN26
Posts: 66
Joined: June 13th, 2018, 1:37 pm
Location: Eastern, MA
Grass Type: Bewitched Front / Mixed KBG Back
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by EddieN26 » June 19th, 2019, 8:22 pm

Yes sorry, would applying Humic DG on a regular basis benefit my soil plan as a supplement? And I meant to ask if Kelp Help as opposed to BLSC (my mistake, mixed them up) would produce similar results at a cheaper price? I do like the ability to spread the granular humic, but I'm moreso after results over convenience.

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andy10917
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by andy10917 » June 19th, 2019, 8:53 pm

Everything helps. The hard problem is that there is no standard for testing the purity of humic or fulvic acid products - and it really comes down to trying several and assessing results with your eyes. What's on the bag is all over the board.

As for Kelp Help, it will help (no pun intended). But realize that it is diluted, and then diluted again for application. It is going to be good for a pick-me-up as a foliar (and foliars are always more diluted), but it's not going to affect a soil test in weeks or months.

EddieN26
Posts: 66
Joined: June 13th, 2018, 1:37 pm
Location: Eastern, MA
Grass Type: Bewitched Front / Mixed KBG Back
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by EddieN26 » June 19th, 2019, 9:29 pm

Thank you for your guidance as always good sir. I will give it a long lasting try and switch it up to KH at some point to compare the results. I've applied lime + epsom, SOP twice, milo 2x + micros 1x, peat moss, equine pellets and everything about the turf looks unbelievable (vigor, growth rate, density). Up to this point I've had to mow around 10x the amount as last year because of how healthy and thick it's growing and I accredit it all to your help and the plan laid forth. I don't know that I'll visually see a difference adding in the Humic given all the other positives but I don't think it'll hurt.

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andy10917
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Re: Eddie's Soil Test - 2019

Post by andy10917 » June 19th, 2019, 9:52 pm

Glad to hear it!!

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