EriCS soil test

Learn how improving your soil can lead to a better looking lawn
EriCS198
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Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
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EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 10th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Hope I’m doing this correctly, total lawn is 30,000+ sq/ft. Mixed cool season grass with partial shade on half of the property. I’m interested in simple instructions at the moment to get my soil in proper conditions. I currently hired a lawn care company to treat the lawn for fertilization and weed control. I recently applied 2 apps of tenacity a week or so apart to control some Bentgrass. There is no irrigation, however the soil remains damp in the spring and fall however this might be due to poor drainage from clay soil. If there are any further details please advise me to add. Thanks everybody and I’m a newbie
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andy10917
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by andy10917 » June 10th, 2019, 8:15 pm

I'm going to remove the other posting you made (the one with no narrative).

PS: I strongly doubt you have "clay soil" with a TEC of 5+.

EriCS198
Posts: 34
Joined: May 25th, 2019, 9:57 am
Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
Grass Type: Cool season
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 10th, 2019, 8:34 pm

Lol maybe just a high water table...

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andy10917
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by andy10917 » June 10th, 2019, 8:41 pm

Here's a general rule of thumb for TEC's:

15+: possible clay soil, or calcareous situation
12-15: heavier soil
10-12: Heaven
8-10: sandier loam
6-8: somewhat sandy
4-6: very sandy
below 4: extremely sandy

There are exceptions, but none apply to Dutchess County

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by ken-n-nancy » June 10th, 2019, 9:00 pm

andy10917 wrote:
June 10th, 2019, 8:41 pm
... general rule of thumb for TEC's:

15+: possible clay soil, or calcareous situation
12-15: heavier soil
10-12: Heaven
8-10: sandier loam
6-8: somewhat sandy
4-6: very sandy
below 4: extremely sandy
Thanks for posting the above!


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andy10917
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by andy10917 » June 15th, 2019, 7:35 am

Alright, there are some real challenges here...

The soil is pretty sandy at a TEC of 5.6. The OM is mediocre at around 3.4. The addition of lots of OM (free if possible) would help a lot. Heavy and often.

The soil is quite lopsided with lots of Magnesium, which may be why the soil seems "tight" and similar to clay soil - the Magnesium tends to make the soil clump a lot and be tough to work with. You have to make a decision about whether to leave it alone or undertake an effort to displace some of it with the use of Gypsum - it will take time and there are no guarantees that it will definitely work - tell me if you want to attempt it.

With all the Magnesium, the pH has been driven to 7.6, which ties up Iron and affects color. And you don't have any surplus of Iron anyway. To get good color without trying to fix the Magnesium situation, you'll need to do foliar FAS treatments every 3 weeks or so. Of course, you can just accept the color that you've got.

You will never need to apply Lime.

The Potassium and Phosphorus situations are pretty bad. When both are short, we tend to recommend balanced fertilizers like 10-10-10 or 19-19-19. Pick one and post the NPK numbers for application rates and frequency.

In the micro's, only Boron could use your attention. Do you wish to deal with that in 2019?

The regular application of BLSC may loosen the soil somewhat, and is worth a try.

EriCS198
Posts: 34
Joined: May 25th, 2019, 9:57 am
Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
Grass Type: Cool season
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 15th, 2019, 11:46 am

Thanks for the reply Andy, do you feel it’s worth a shot at trying to remediate the Magnesium issue? My main concern in the time being is a healthier lawn and color as well. There are some large areas with thinning and moss filling in those bare areas. The color of the lawn is poor in my opinion and very inconsistent. Your a hell of a lot more knowledgeable in this than I am so please advise me on what you would do. I’m also willing to address the magnesium at a later date if that works as well. Thanks for the help!

EriCS198
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 15th, 2019, 11:59 am

Also any reason why I can’t apply granular FAS instead? It’s would be a pretty daunting task to apply liquid to such a large area. Although I may be willing to purchase a backpack sprayer since I have come this far. Thanks

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andy10917
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by andy10917 » June 15th, 2019, 12:25 pm

do you feel it’s worth a shot at trying to remediate the Magnesium issue? My main concern in the time being is a healthier lawn and color as well.
Only YOU know how serious you want to be about your lawn. Just as you have a hard time with the soil's hardness, so too do the grass' roots. And that can lead to wispy, thinner grass.
Also any reason why I can’t apply granular FAS instead? It’s would be a pretty daunting task to apply liquid to such a large area. Although I may be willing to purchase a backpack sprayer since I have come this far.
Granular apps to the soil won't work at pH 7.6 - you'd be wasting your money. Iron becomes unavailable to plants above pH 7.1 or so. That's why the foliar apps are used.

If you want to take this stuff to the next level, a backpack sprayer is a very good idea - too many things are taken out of play without a good sprayer.

PS: it's not so tough - I do an acre+ on a hill at 67 years old. You can do it, and the exercise will get you in better shape by the end of the season.

EriCS198
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Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 15th, 2019, 12:28 pm

Ok, if I am gonna do it I’m not gonna cut corners.

EriCS198
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Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 16th, 2019, 9:54 am

The Lowe’s which is local to me had Sta-Green fast acting gypsum at around 10 bucks a bag. Is this product on par with the rest like Pennington etc?

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andy10917
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by andy10917 » June 16th, 2019, 10:20 am

I've used it and have written about it on the site. It works well.

PS: if you buy 5 or more bags, it's 10% cheaper...

EriCS198
Posts: 34
Joined: May 25th, 2019, 9:57 am
Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
Grass Type: Cool season
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 16th, 2019, 1:13 pm

andy10917 wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 10:20 am
I've used it and have written about it on the site. It works well.

PS: if you buy 5 or more bags, it's 10% cheaper...
Thanks Andy, any particular order in putting this stuff down? As far as the OM, the only free option for me is to continue mulching the clippings and leaves in the fall. I will also start to put down Milorganite as often as I can. However finding free organic material for my size property is pretty difficult but I look into other options like peat moss etc. Is it ok for me to apply a balanced fertilizer this time of year? Don’t know if I’m getting ahead of further instructions to come, just trying to get an idea of what this is going to cost me in the near future. Thanks

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andy10917
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Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
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Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: EriCS soil test

Post by andy10917 » June 16th, 2019, 6:17 pm

No specific order. Balanced fertilizers are OK, except take it very easy between July 1 and August 15th (half app maybe).

EriCS198
Posts: 34
Joined: May 25th, 2019, 9:57 am
Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
Grass Type: Cool season
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 16th, 2019, 10:14 pm

I’m assuming I still should go ahead and apply the foliar fas regardless if I’m going to try and remediate the high magnesium levels with fast acting gypsum?

EriCS198
Posts: 34
Joined: May 25th, 2019, 9:57 am
Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
Grass Type: Cool season
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 16th, 2019, 10:28 pm

By performing the soil amendments and adding a balanced fertilizer, should I continue paying for professional lawn services throughout the rest of the season? My next visit is scheduled on the 17th for early summer late spring fertilization.

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andy10917
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by andy10917 » June 16th, 2019, 10:51 pm

I’m assuming I still should go ahead and apply the foliar fas regardless if I’m going to try and remediate the high magnesium levels with fast acting gypsum?
That's a good assumption.
By performing the soil amendments and adding a balanced fertilizer, should I continue paying for professional lawn services throughout the rest of the season? My next visit is scheduled on the 17th for early summer late spring fertilization.
how could I possibly know what they do? The only thing I can say is that you shouldn't have two parties putting down nutrients.

EriCS198
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Joined: May 25th, 2019, 9:57 am
Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
Grass Type: Cool season
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 18th, 2019, 9:34 am

I called my local Site One, the best balanced fertilizer they currently have in stock is lesco 18 24 12. Any suggestions on application rate? Thanks

TimmyG
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Re: EriCS soil test

Post by TimmyG » June 18th, 2019, 10:25 am

Home Depot or Lowe's should have 10-10-10 or 13-13-13 for super cheap. Home Depot will also have that Lesco Starter 18-24-12 if you want to price compare.

EriCS198
Posts: 34
Joined: May 25th, 2019, 9:57 am
Location: Southern Dutchess County, NY
Grass Type: Cool season
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Novice

Re: EriCS soil test

Post by EriCS198 » June 18th, 2019, 10:44 am

TimmyG wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 10:25 am
Home Depot or Lowe's should have 10-10-10 or 13-13-13 for super cheap. Home Depot will also have that Lesco Starter 18-24-12 if you want to price compare.
Thanks I was just looking into wether I could use a garden balanced fertilizer instead. HD had 10 10 10 available for 40lb bag at 13.00 bucks a bag. Don’t know what I need as far as application rates yet but hopefully this will be a cheaper route. Thanks for your patience...

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