Dave's 2019 Soil Test

Learn how improving your soil can lead to a better looking lawn
Post Reply
User avatar
prog_dave
Posts: 72
Joined: October 8th, 2010, 9:43 pm
Location: Manchester CT
Grass Type: Northern Mix with multiple Crest/Baron/Blue Angel KBG Overseeds
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Dave's 2019 Soil Test

Post by prog_dave » August 21st, 2019, 10:54 pm

Hi, I'm back looking for help, primarily on the micros, after about 18 months off. I followed your advice in 2017, even though it looks like most of the micros have declined. I'm certainly very happy to take advice on the macros as well, in case my math is off.

Image

I was really down on my lawn this June with lots of poa annua in the back yard and lots of poa triv in the front yard. I started "year 3" of the constant Dimension 0-0-7 applications to control the poa annua, so my back yard featured a lot of bare spots (and lots of spots of poa annua that just won't die in the summer). After a hot summer with deep infrequent rainfall, I'm happy to report the triv looks as dead as it ever has in the 10 summers I've lived here, and the front at least looks great. When I started asking you for advice, and my TEC was really low, the 1" of water, 1x per week advice resulted in dead grass. This summer it's produced vibrant green grass. For sure not as nice as some of the posters on the site, but enough to make the visible part of my yard the envy of the neighborhood. Your recommendations are the reason, I'm sure. I'm also sure I haven't solved the triv problem, but I hope what comes back in the fall is a fraction of what I saw in the spring.

Since I took the sample, I put down about 3 lbs/K of the Dimension 0-0-7 (and also Milorganite). I plan one more Milorganite application around Labor Day weekend, which would be an ideal time to get down some micros (I have all four). Advice for next year would be great too if you're comfortable looking ahead.

Here's the link to my last soil test in 2017:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=21887&p=300797#p300797

I have an additional question on Nitrogen application. Are there alternatives to M* that don't contain phosphorus? I have ridiculous levels, so it seems like a shame to add more. Years ago I could get Corn Gluten Meal pretty cheap from a local farm cooperative, but sadly that window has closed.

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 28496
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: Dave's 2019 Soil Test

Post by andy10917 » August 23rd, 2019, 9:54 am

I see just a couple of things that I'd recommend addressing - overall you're in a pretty-good state...

The Potassium levels are low. Get and apply Sulfate of Potash ("SOP", 0-0-50) and apply it in September at 2 lbs/K and then pick it up again monthly in April. It's not the easiest product to find. Don't apply it in October or later as late-season applications have shown increased Snow Mold damage the following Spring during a few studies.

In the micro's, only Boron is lacking. You know the drill - 3 tablespoons/K of Twenty Mules applied every 60 days.
I have an additional question on Nitrogen application. Are there alternatives to M* that don't contain phosphorus? I have ridiculous levels, so it seems like a shame to add more
I have very high Phosphorus soil too (higher than yours), and I have both a natural/organic and a semi-natural alternative that I use. Soybean Meal ("SBM", 7-2-0) works very well at reasonable cost, and Urea (46-0-0) is a natural substance but synthesized to make it cost less. I've tried SBM as a replacement for Milorganite in doing Micronutrient applications. with success. The prill size of Urea doesn't work for Micronutrient apps well - the spritzing to get the micronutrients to stick makes the prills stick to each other too. Urea is cheap and is very high in Nitrogen.

User avatar
prog_dave
Posts: 72
Joined: October 8th, 2010, 9:43 pm
Location: Manchester CT
Grass Type: Northern Mix with multiple Crest/Baron/Blue Angel KBG Overseeds
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Dave's 2019 Soil Test

Post by prog_dave » August 24th, 2019, 11:33 am

Thank you Andy! You know, I didn't even think about SBM because it's got phosphorus in it, but of course you're right that I can use it to deliver the same amount of nitrogen with less phosphorus.

Also thanks for confirming SOP rather than MOP. When I insist on it, I get a lot of funny looks. One guy even asked me if I was growing crops in my yard. "Yes, grass."

User avatar
ken-n-nancy
Posts: 2290
Joined: July 17th, 2014, 3:58 pm
Location: Bedford, NH
Grass Type: Front: KBG (Bewitched+Prosperity); Side: Bewitched KBG; Back: Fine Fescue Blend + Prosperity
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Experienced

Re: Dave's 2019 Soil Test

Post by ken-n-nancy » August 24th, 2019, 8:30 pm

prog_dave wrote:
August 24th, 2019, 11:33 am
Also thanks for confirming SOP rather than MOP. When I insist on it, I get a lot of funny looks. One guy even asked me if I was growing crops in my yard. "Yes, grass."
:) I love it!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests