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Soil Test Interpretation Help Please

Posted by ARiverRuns 6a (My Page) on
Thu, May 9, 13 at 18:30

I got the results back of my soil test and now I want to move forward. I want to do this organically, so if you could please confirm that using alfalfa pellets, used coffee grounds, corn meal, grass clippings, mulched leaves, sugar, and compost (every few weeks) will satisfy what they've recommended.
pH - 7.5
OM - 6.5% (medium)
Total Salts - 0.2 (low)
Phos - 55.7 ppm (high)
Potassium - 196.2 ppm (high)
Calcium - 3640.1 ppm
Magnesium - 209.1 ppm (high)
Sodium 26.3
CEC - 21.6
Base Sat. H - 5.5%
Limestone - 0
Nitrogen - 2.0
Phosphate - 0.4
Potash - 0
Potash fertilizer is not requred for your lawn. However your lawn will benefit from four applications of 21-7-7 at 5 pounds per 1000 sq ft. The amount of Phosphate and Potash applied using this material is small and will not be detrimental to your lawn.
Your soil does not require any additional organic matter.
Your soil has a low salt rating, commonly found in moist soils. Most soils have totals salts in this range. Low salts will not cause plant damage.
The pH of your soil is acceptable; you do not require any liming materials for your lawn.
So rather than use the chemical fertilizer they recommended, will the top dressings I mentioned earlier fit the bill? Thanks for your help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Soil Test Interpretation Help Please

I'm not that good at directing what to do with test results but I'd say go for it. The one thig I would suggest is compost if available and shredded leaves in the fall. This will address your organic matter concerns.
But since or P and K ate already rated high levels, try finding ferts that have less of these. If your lawn is not too big and you can afford it, blood meal might be an option but ill defer to what other people will say on here.

RE: Soil Test Interpretation Help Please

  • Posted by SC77 6b (My Page) on
    Tue, May 14, 13 at 10:40

Those results look very good. Are you having any issue with the lawn currently, I would imagine it is in good shape based on those optimal readings. Either way, the lawn will benefit from all of the above mentioned (except, not sure about sugar?)...Unless you have excessive weeds, always mulch mow and mow high 3" or more and never cut more than 1/3 of the grass height at a time. Make sure your lawn mower blade is sharp as well. Water deep 1" per week to encourage deep roots that can sustain drought.

Coffee grinds are great and can be found in abundance at Starbucks upon request. However, I have read that it is better to mix them in a compost bin prior to putting on the lawn. I have had great results with Ringer Brand Organic fertilizer as well. It can be tough to find, I get it from True Value, with free shipping to my local store. Also, you might want to consider making some Compost Tea, which works faster than just putting compost directly on the ground...I have heard of people adding molasses to their mix, which helps feed the microbes...(maybe that's the sugar you referenced). Finally, make sure you over seed each fall to ensure you have thick grass that will block out weeds. Consider renting a core aerator each fall or spring, and look into using Corn Gluten Meal if you are having weed issues.

Good Luck

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