First Soil Test

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MarineOh3
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First Soil Test

Post by MarineOh3 »

Hey all. Just got my first soils test back for the turf. I am by no means an expert so was curious to hear thoughts. Super high calcium and magnesium which I think is indicative of a clay-heavy soil.

Soil ph is 7.6.

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Robs92k
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Re: First Soil Test

Post by Robs92k »

Welcome to the high PH club! This is very similar to mine in WI. Biggest tips I can give you:

Use Ammonium Sufate as your primary source of Fast N (reduces ph and helps you work around it).

Iron is also likely bound, so you’ll likely benefit from foliar iron apps (FAS). More info on these are in the cool season guide and soil amendment threads.

Others will likely answer more expertly, but again, very similar to my tests. You shouldn’t have much problem growing an amazing turf!

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MarineOh3
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Re: First Soil Test

Post by MarineOh3 »

Robs92k wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:06 am
Welcome to the high PH club! This is very similar to mine in WI. Biggest tips I can give you:

Use Ammonium Sufate as your primary source of Fast N (reduces ph and helps you work around it).

Iron is also likely bound, so you’ll likely benefit from foliar iron apps (FAS). More info on these are in the cool season guide and soil amendment threads.

Others will likely answer more expertly, but again, very similar to my tests. You shouldn’t have much problem growing an amazing turf!
Thanks! I’ve noticed the lawn does respond immediately and quite well to iron. The soil is a little compacted too. I wish I would have aerated this year when I ripped the turf apart and over seeded KBG. It came in really nicely but I think I missed an opportunity by not aerating - because I’ve found that compacted soil and <1” HOC means the soil dries out very very quickly. So the grass needs a ton of water. Aeration will have to wait till next fall when I will topdress and overseed again.

Appreciate your reply. Thank you.

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Re: First Soil Test

Post by Virginiagal »

I don’t know what to say about this test other than it seems very odd. Normal soil around here does not have so much calcium. I wonder if the sample was contaminated in some way. I suggest calling the Alexandria VA Tech extension office and talk to them about your results:
https://alexandria.ext.vt.edu/

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g-man
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Re: First Soil Test

Post by g-man »

I was going back thru your post trying to figure out what products you applied to the lawn. The calcium seems very odd to me too. I noticed you topdressed with topsoil. What else did you apply recently?

This sample shows a low value of P and K, so I would at least try to address those.

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MarineOh3
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Re: First Soil Test

Post by MarineOh3 »

Thank you @g-man and @Virginiagal .

I don't think I've read so much about Calcium since I was in 10th grade biology class. From what I've read, lawns that are high in Nitrogen will be high in Calcium. Prior to the plugs being retrieved, I put down Anderson's Starter Fert with Mesotrione - https://www.seedsuperstore.com/catalog/ ... e-tenacity and then was in the midst of spoon-feeding new Bluebank KBG with Scotts Green Max which is 33-0-2 at the 50% rate every week for four weeks. I had been putting down milorganite in the Spring but that stopped by early June.

The samples that I sent for the analysis were plugs retrieved from several places in the yard. I don't know that contamination would have been possible, but then again I don't think it would have been impossible. I have another test set here and, for $10 and a week turnaround, I am going to get new plugs tomorrow and get everything re-tested. I don't expect different results but we shall see.

Is high calcium really that big of a deal though? I read that it CAN cause yellowing, which I don't have a problem. My only problem with yellowing comes from my 8 year old golden retriever. Including a couple shots of the 'before reno' and 'after reno'.

Image

Image

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I did not do a typical reno like you would see here. Its a long story but applying glyphosate to kill my current lawn just wasn't in the cards. Instead, I took a dethatcher over the lawn about 7 different ways and ripped out what I could. In the end, it worked good enough for what I wanted. Seed down was 17 August. The second and third pic above were taken 17 October, so exactly two months after seed down. Seed is KBG Bluebank from SSS. I started spoon feeding Scotts Green Max 33-0-2 at about 50% rate every week starting at day 30 after seed down. Plugs were pulled in the middle of that time, around 20 September. Plugs then sat for a few weeks in the little box until I mailed them on 18 October.

I will make sure to address the P and the K as I did note they were low. One last random thought... I had been watering HEAVILY since August seed down. It was hot in later August and early September and I have a $1000 water bill as evidence that I was dumping considerable water on the lawn. Fairfax County, Virginia, apparently has somewhat hard water. COULD dumping that much hard water on the lawn during the month leading up to the soil tests impact the calcium levels that much? Just a thought...

Sorry so long. But you guys started it... ;-) thanks so much for reading and for your replies. Matt

Virginiagal
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Re: First Soil Test

Post by Virginiagal »

Maybe the Indians used to have oyster roasts on your lawn? There are some limestone deposits in western Virginia but generally soil in Virginia tends to be acidic. Your results were so strange I did a search on Alexandria soil and found this 1915 soil survey:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_ ... VA1915.pdf
A brief skim didn’t turn up anything about limestone. Call the VA Tech extension office and ask if others in the area have had similar results. Ask if they would recommend ammonium acetate extractant for your next soil test. If they don’t seem to know much about soil, call the lab in Blacksburg.

Hope the Metro gets fixed before long.

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Re: First Soil Test

Post by Harts »

MarineOh3 wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:39 pm
Aeration will have to wait till next fall when I will topdress and overseed again.
Not at all what you asked about but I wanted to comment anyway. You do not need to over seed your KBG lawn. If you have thin spots, it will fill in with nitrogen.

From the photos you posted, you definitely don't need to put more seed down next year.

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Re: First Soil Test

Post by Ridgerunner »

PH 7.6 and M1 testing can give some unusual Ca results. PH 7.6 soil in Virginia is unusal, no? @Virginiagal

Virginiagal
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Re: First Soil Test

Post by Virginiagal »

Yes, Virginia soil is usually acidic. But there are limestone deposits in western Virginia. I would expect alkaline soil where there is a lot of limestone. Wouldn’t expect alkaline soil in Alexandria but I guess it’s possible.

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Re: First Soil Test

Post by Deadlawn »

Apply elemental sulfur to bring pH down. That will make iron more available too.
Tier 1 - I just want something green. Perennial "weeds" that stay green year round are welcome.

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