YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

A place to discuss soil fertility and soil amendments
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spraying_and_praying
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YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by spraying_and_praying »

Yard Mastery and The Andersons just released a granular biostimulant with a 5-0-0 analysis. My soil test is indicating a low CEC value (under 5), so I'm looking to raise the CEC value and improve my soil. Given the size and layout of my yard, I would have to call in a company to help spread organic matter like compost after fall aeration (and probably at significant cost). This is in an easy to spread granular form, so it's an attractive option from that perspective. Anyone have any thoughts or tried it yet?

https://yardmastery.com/products/soil-m ... p-and-iron

Boy_meets_lawn
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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by Boy_meets_lawn »

Yikes, that makes the carbon pro g look cheap. I think your money is better spent adding in some organic based fertilizer such as greentrx or milorganite and developing soil from root cycling. Mix your own root growth stimulator and you would come out way cheaper.

PodScot
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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by PodScot »

Curious to see what others say. 15k worth of bag rate milo in my area is $102 per app. Milo almost double in price this year in my area.

CLT49er
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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by CLT49er »

$70? This is insanity. Good stuff in it but thats crazy.

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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by CLT49er »

Siteone has a 4-3-1 called Dynamic Duo that I believe is a better value than Milo. If I recall right it was $22 for 50lbs.

Topic Author
spraying_and_praying
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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by spraying_and_praying »

It's expensive for sure. Ideally I'd like to get a load of compost and thinly spread it after I've core aerated in the fall, but I'll have to price that out with a pro landscaping company and see where I'm at. Part of the problem is the size of my lawn and the fact that it has some pretty steep areas. I'm looking to improve CEC without a lot of labor (since it's just me doing the work). Some of these granular products look attractive, but value and actual effectiveness are questionable.

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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by balladinsurgency »

My situation is similar: low CEC and wanting to add organic matter to a large area. I settled on compost, which I can get for <$30/yard delivered. I get a bunch in the spring and drop it out of the way, then spread it by hand as time and motivation allow.

We know compost works. For me, most alternatives are too expensive or unproven, or both. But I still read up on every new product to see if someone found the magic formula!

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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by OnTheLawn »

I can’t see a 45 lb bag doing much to move CEC in the top 6” of soil, especially at the suggested rates, but for $70 it can’t hurt to give it a shot and see what happens. For me, I have 1200 sq ft to really work on, so it may be worth it to get a bag and see what happens. For someone with 15000 sq ft, different story and investment level.
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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by Deadlawn »

balladinsurgency wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:07 pm
We know compost works. For me, most alternatives are too expensive or unproven, or both. But I still read up on every new product to see if someone found the magic formula!
^^^This. Most magic bullets do nothing more than make your wallet lighter.
Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by tneicna »

Products won't fix your lawn overnight.

Your lawn is its own biosphere. The topsoil, water, and fertilizer and cultivars are what you need to focus on.

What's your soil like? Does it leech N/P/K? Is it compacted? Thatch accumulation? Is it a Loam/Sandy soil?

Best thing I've done to my lawn (besides wetting agents) is reduce thatch in the spring/early summer, apply the correct Fert (N/P/K), use a reel mower.

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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by Ridgerunner »

Will biochar add CEC? Yes.
Will humic acid add CEC? Yes.
A soil with a CEC> than 5.5 can theoretically hold sufficient nutrients to supply plants for one growing season.

CEC calculations are based on an acre. 1 meq (or c-mol) is 1 CEC.

1 Kilogram of biochar has between 11.9 and 119 meq cation sites (CEC) (depending on the biomass material, pyrolysis processing method and the testing method used).
In a best case scenario, that's around 60 CEC per pound.
Applying 1# of biochar per thousand is 43.5 lbs per acre (1 X 43.5) or an addition of 2610 meq.
Dispersed over 2000000 lbs in an acre, that is an addition of 0.0013 meq to CEC.
i.e. Every one pound of high quality biochar added per thousand square feet will add .0013 meq to CEC.
17.68 lbs/M of high quality biochar can add 1 meq or 1 CEC

High quality biochar contains 80-85% carbon.
This particular product contains 23.7% carbon derived from biochar; about 14 lbs of biochar.

One Kilogram of pure HA contains between 200 and 500 meq cation sites (CEC)
In a best case scenario, that's around 250 meq per pound.
Applying 1# of Humic Acid (HA) per thousand is 43.5 lbs per acre (1 X 43.5) or an addition of 10875 meq.
Dispersed over 2000000 lbs in an acre, that is an addition of .0054 meq to CEC.
4.6 lbs/M of pure HA can add 1 meq or 1 CEC.

This product contains 9% HA; 4 lbs of HA.

Theoretically, adding 27lbs/M of this product could raise your CEC by 1.
It's a cost/benefit analysis.
If your soil CEC is below 3 or 4, There is a good likelihood of a benefit. If your soil is above 7 or 8, you likely will see very little benefit.

Keep in mind, you are topdressing and not incorporating (tilling in) and that will have an impact.
Last edited by Ridgerunner on Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by desirous »

27lbs/M is nine applications at the recommended rate. (Just for reference while you are doing the cost/benefit analysis.)

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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by tam »

Andersons products are usually too expensive for my wallet in general, and I already have some similar ingredients sitting on the shelf in my garage already (iron, humic, some Subvert FFF which includes a biostim), so it wouldn't be worth the price tag *to me.*

I'd probably try Propeat before this if you want to throw money at a granular product with carbon. About $60/50lbs at Home Depot and it includes carbon, micros, and N-P-K. SiteOne and Lowes also sell Milo clones.

I suspect compost will still be more cost-effective even with the added labor costs.

Topic Author
spraying_and_praying
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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by spraying_and_praying »

tneicna wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:18 am
What's your soil like? Does it leech N/P/K? Is it compacted? Thatch accumulation? Is it a Loam/Sandy soil?
Based on my March soil test, my soil needs some help. CEC averages to about 4.6. I core aerated last fall to relieve compaction, but I'm sure it needs it again this year. I dethatched last fall as well, and lightly raked to stimulate growth this spring. Based on my location (southern New England) and CEC numbers, I would say it's a sandy soil.... and quite a bit of it is steeply sloped.

I put down four bag rate applications of Milorganite last season, and still came up phosphorus deficient in my soil test! In fairness, last year was the first year I've ever really paid attention to my lawn.

As another poster mentioned, once you get to the over 15K sq ft mark (particularly with steeper slopes), cost, time, and effort become serious issues. I'm trying to develop a strategy that makes sense. The vibe I'm getting is that I should just focus on proper pH, fertilizing, dethatching, aerating, and mowing. My thought was to try to improve my low CEC, but throwing big $$$ at products that will have a negligible effect on a yard so large makes little sense I guess.
Last edited by spraying_and_praying on Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
spraying_and_praying
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:02 pm
Location: Connecticut
Grass Type: Bluegrass/Rye/Fescue
Lawn Size: 18700 sq ft
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Re: YM 5-0-0 to raise CEC and improve soil

Post by spraying_and_praying »

Ridgerunner wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:40 pm
Theoretically, adding 27lbs/M of this product could raise your CEC by 1.
It's a cost/benefit analysis.
If your soil CEC is below 3 or 4, There is a good likelihood of a benefit. If your soil is above 7 or 8, you likely will see very little benefit.

Keep in mind, you are topdressing and not incorporating (tilling in) and that will have an impact.
Thanks for the detailed analysis @Ridgerunner . I tested my front and back yards separately, and the CEC values averaged to 4.6. That's obviously low. But buying and putting down that much of that product is crazy expensive, and given my steep sloped areas, the risk of it washing down the hill negates much of the cost and effort. :(

I'm just looking to make meaningful improvements. My soil isn't ideal, and I realize it won't ever be perfect. But if there are reasonable things I can do to make improvements, I'd be willing to try. I'm still trying to learn so I can improve as well.

Here's a link to my soil test results if you've got a moment to look: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=26661

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