+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Question Selecting a Fertilizer

    Hello everyone,
    I just received my soil analysis report from Texas A&M; would it be possible to receive some assistance on how to use this information to select an appropriate fertilizer?

    I am planning on laying Bermuda sod on a yard that does not contain much vegetation growth. My soil sample had the following results.

    N was 4ppm

    P at 15ppm

    K at 103ppm

    The critical level for Phosphorus (P) is 50ppm and Potassium (K) is 175ppm. For my soil and location the recommendations were as follows:

    O.7 lbs. N/1000sqft,

    2.1 lbs P205/1000sqft and

    1.2 lbs K20/1000sqft.

    I can make sense of the recommendations but, I am not completely sure as to what type of granular fertilizer (fast or slow release) and the N-P-K ratio to select. It may be that there is no complete fertilizer N-P-K ratio commercially available that fits the recommendations I received. Would I need to purchase each ingredient separately? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,243

    Default Re: Selecting a Fertilizer

    For all intents and purposes, your soil is dead. If it were me, I'd mix a large amount of manure or compost into the soil before laying the sod, otherwise you're going to be fighting to keep the lawn healthy and thick with the use of topical fertilizers. By putting organic matter into the soil, you will make the soil rich and bioactive, giving the grass something to grow in for years to come.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Selecting a Fertilizer

    You are absolutely right, the soil along with being strongly alkaline it is also pretty much dead. I had intended on removing a few inches of soil and tilling in some compost. My only question now is on selecting a fertilizer that fits the soil analysis recommendations. From my understanding the addition of compost to the soil will add some much needed nutrients but will not provided the necessary and immediate boost of N-P-K in the quantity necessary. Any words of advice on selecting a fertilizer?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,243

    Default Re: Selecting a Fertilizer

    Well, IMHO, the best source of nitrogen is manure. Not only is it natural (not a chemical component of natural gas or other petroleum distillate ), it also contains lots of other bioactive things. A couple years ago the soil in my garden was much like your yard - devoid of any discernible amount of NPK. After bringing in many yards of fresh horse manure and working it into the soil, we now have good levels of NPK and the soil has gone from being rock hard clay to something you can dig in with your bare hands. The organic matter in the manure itself, as well as the bedding materials along with it, all work to break up clay and enrich the soil. You won't get this from fertilizer applications alone.

    Municipal compost is another good source of organic matter and nutrients. Being that it is the yard wastes of the community, it will also be high in nitrogen from the fertilizers that people use. I've have used this extensively to build up dead soil. I will usually apply 4 to 6 inches of the compost and work it in as deeply as possible. This gives a good base for the grass to take hold and loosens the soil so that the grass can root deeply, making for happier healthier lawns. Municipal compost works great in lawns and flowerbeds, it's also a good top dressing in lieu of fertilizer, though I would not recommend it for a veggie garden.

    If you want to go strictly the route of topical fertilizer, I cannot suggest a particular brand or method of application. You'll need to be careful about burning the roots of sod if you apply fertilizer to the ground before laying the sod.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Selecting a Fertilizer

    I appreciate your insight on the benefits of going natural. I had not considered municipal compost as a source or means of improving the soil in my yard. Thanks for re-directing my focus. My yard has relatively very little vegetation growth, only the very hardy weed has found it suitable and even they have struggled. I had anticipated having and enjoying a relatively weed free lawn once I had made the necessary changes to the soil composition and a fresh new layer of sod. Would the inclusion of manure or municipal compost introduce seeds or any other species of unwanted plant just waiting for a suitable place to germinate? Is that a strong possibility and something to prepare for?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,243

    Default Re: Selecting a Fertilizer

    With the compost, no, the composting process should effectively eliminate viable weed seed. With manure it's possible,though I've never had a problem with excess weeds in either the garden or the lawn, and I sift the manure and spread it on the lawn rather than using chemical fertilizers. I do have a problem with squirrels planting nuts in the yard and with the birds spreading privet seeds, obviously that has nothing to do with the compost or manure itself.

    Considering the nutrient levels of your soil, it's not a surprise that you've got very little, including weeds, growing there. The great thing about laying sod is that it's an established, thick carpet, so that anything in the soil will have a hard time germinating and growing through the grass. The few things that do, it's imperative to pull them when they're new and few, if you let them get a foothold, then you'll be fighting them forever.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,843

    Default Re: Selecting a Fertilizer

    Properly prepare the sub soil and install sod. If the grass is healthy, thick, and well growing it should smother out anything comming up from below.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Selecting a Fertilizer

    A. Spruce and JL McDaniel I thank you for your help. A. Spruce Iím going to take your suggestion and go natural.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •