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Why soil Testing is a Waste of Money

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Fatguys
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 6
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2020-06-01          199299


Here is a question for everyone who is struggling to make their yard nice and green.

First thing everyone says is go get a SOIL TEST !

Ok great, Bu wait a minute the only thing I can really buy at the local Box store is FERTILIZER.

So you say what about alkalinity??? I say yeah what about it. If you have more than a postage stamp lawn, Lime is simply too much work to undertake.

So the SOIL Test can tell you that you alreeady have too much Nitrogen, That only happens on a Golf course where they are all over maintenance.

I guess it might tell you you should use 10 6 4 in stead of 28 - 4-2 fertilizer.

Is there something I am missing here?





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Why soil Testing is a Waste of Money

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2020-06-02          199310


So have you ever had a soil sample run and understood it? Funny how those who make a living from the soil depend on soil samples like a doctor depends on blood test and x-rays to know what is wrong with a patient.

I have never had a soil sample, lawn or field that showed too much nitrogen. Nitrogen is costly and applying too much is a waste of money. Apply too little and have poor crop yield.

Lime, if your soil is too acidity by much it can not fully use the fertilizer, so again wasting money. Lime is not hard to incorporate, it is a lot like salting a piece of meat, you can sprinkle it on and allow water time to carry it into the soil or you can massage it into the soil by incorporating it by tilling the soil.

Soil properly limed and fertilizer will produce a bountiful crop with necessary sun and water. If you will do a soil sample for corn and ask the results to include two different yield goals might help you get an idea on the relationship between proper ph and fertilizer rates and yield.

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Why soil Testing is a Waste of Money

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2020-06-03          199312


Missed on lime being to much work for a larger lawn, it should not be much more than applying fertilizer. I assume you use a spreader for the fertilizer and most likely it will work for the lime. You can get lime in different forms such as pellet easy to spread and not very dusty or the farm type lime which can be dusty. If you have a few acres of lawn and need to apply say two tons an acres go to where he farmers buy, the true ag fertilizer and chemical seller and ask in them spreading it. If you have that large a lawn you might benefit by having them also spread your fertilizer for often the cost for the fertilizer and the spread is less than the big box store is for the fertilizer. Also don't' miss the micro nutrients..
Word of caution, a load spreader is heavy...be sure it will not crush anything in your area to be spread. Often they are spreading such a wide area they can avoid an area if marked for them.

Get the soil sample, follow it and get your mower ready...well maybe...can only help a crop grow, will not make one magically appear. lol ....

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Why soil Testing is a Waste of Money

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2020-06-03          199314


I'm late to the party but Kenny covered most of it.

I would add however that since you didn't fill out your profile we don't know how much turf you're working with or where it's located. Pretty tough to be helpful without at least the basic info. Kinda like going to the doctor and only saying "It hurts.".

If you're in even a slightly rural area there's very likely a o-op or farm supply place nearby that will rent or loan (depending on what you're buying) a big spreader for lime is if it's needed. Ditto the fertilizer. Often local farmers will do the same thing.


Best of luck. ....

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Why soil Testing is a Waste of Money

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Fatguys
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 6
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2020-06-04          199322


Quote:
Originally Posted by kthompson | view 199312
Missed on lime being to much work for a larger lawn.


It is too much work as I have 120,000 sq feet and at rates from 5 to 50 pounds per 1000 sq ft that is 600 to 6000 lbs of lime.

I did not get the the name Fatguys for nothing!

Been a while since I did lime and when I was a kid we only had the powdered variety, and we applied it one bag per thousand full wide open.

Exhausting! For guy who is generously proportioned :-)

Not aware of any new tech that has made liming lighter weight ?

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Why soil Testing is a Waste of Money

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2020-06-08          199344


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatguys | view 199322
Not aware of any new tech that has made liming lighter weight ?


It's called a 3 PTH spreader.

Don't over load it, do it in many smaller trips, that way you can adjust the spread pattern to better fit the area you're doing.

Again, check with local CO-OP's and farm supply outfits, many of them offer you the use of a spreader (prefilled with the lime) when you buy the product from them.


Best of luck. ....

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Why soil Testing is a Waste of Money

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2020-06-15          199369


First, Murf is the one who beat into my head...first you soil test. Then would read another of his post to see...first you soil test. Well you know he was and still right on that.

Depending on where you are you will find those local farm co-ops or farm supply stores will have guys who spread the lime or bulk fertilizer for hire even easy for us "fat boys". Your 120,000 square feet is near three acres, your issue on hiring it is that is not very large compared to farm land where they normally are spreading so you may have issue with getting them to spread that small of area. Also you need to consider will a loaded truck be a problem in your yard. ....

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Why soil Testing is a Waste of Money

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Fatguys
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 6
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2020-06-19          199386


You folks are very knowledgeable and I am very cautious about introducing sweat to my portly demeanor.

Testing is a good thing work is not at least to me. And that is what made me curious about the lime thing.

When I was a kid stores had big pallets of the stuff.

Ok now decades later checking all the Lowes in my area they list hurry supply low or 5 bags in stock.

Here is my theory. Many homeowners do not do their own work and are lazy or ignorant and just want to get done the so called easy way. And the stores do not want to stock bulky products that take up lots of room and have low turnover and low margins.

Bag mulch must have a different demand curve so that customers like the instant gratification it gives the gardeners because they stock tons of it.

When I was a teen I worked for a landscaper. He had a clients that had postage stamp yards, and each was a marquee example of perfection. He did not do the soil test, but every March the crew hand leaf raked the yard, limed and fertilized and seeded with bluegrass. Fantastic results.

In classic Fatguy form I have managed to ponder this so long that the window for lime application has really passed, right ? or maybe there is time for more pondering before it too late for this season.

But seriously I may just buy the last bag from the local Lowes and do a test spot right infron of the front door for chuckles ;-)

Thanks so much for your patience with Mr Chubby !



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